The Traders’ Food Waste and Recycling Initiative

SUSTAINABLE BISHOPSTON talk on November 14th, 2013

Martin Fodor spoke about the Traders’ Food Waste and Recycling Initiative to tackle unavoidable food waste. He started the project to help deal with food waste for a tiny cafe on Stokes Croft and now works with traders’ groups in Harbourside and the Gloucester Road, as well as Stokes Croft and Cheltenham Road. The process he has developed focuses on unavoidable food waste from small cafes and restaurants, and managing the waste collected now contributes to a soil conditioner and energy production at Wessex Water’s company GenEco in Avonmouth. Methane production from food waste is used as produce electricity and heat, some power now exported to the National Grid.

Traders have many issues to balance but collection costs are a major concern. Competition means collectors come and go. If food waste does go to landfill, the landfill tax is a cost and the rotting waste allows the escape of methane – a potent greenhouse gas.

Discussion covered many issues; if traders exhibit certificates to inform customers that unavoidable food waste is going to produce energy this could promote the scheme and increase debate. The Mayor wants a zero waste city but there are pressures to keep bins off pavements too which can affect recycling. Whiteladies Road traders are another group interested.

The process is an excellent credit to Martin. He has been funded through the Bristol Green Capital’s Community Challenge Fund via Sustainable Bishopston, as well as by Business West’s Go Green programme.

The background and progress is covered in 5 articles in Bristol Local Food Update:  May/June 2012 and Nov/Dec 2012, and Jan/Feb 2013, March/April 2013, May/June 2013, Sept/Oct 2013, and Nov/Dec 2013 issues.

After the talk a local, short, award-winning video documentary called A Well-Informed Optimist featuring Martin was also shown:

Comments are closed.