Fighting Food Waste
With shocking research from Footprint revealing that food waste costs the education sector a staggering £250 million a year, The University Caterers Organisation (TUCO) has taken direct action to battle this alarming figure by launching the Sustainable Food Waste Management contract.
The contract will enable caterers in the education sector to contact specialist renewable companies who will provide various recycling methods to be used in-house; reducing the cost and amount of waste that is taken to a landfill.
“Our new Sustainable Food Waste Management contract is built to be flexible and dynamic so that new food waste management innovators can be added as they become available,” said Mandy Johnston, TUCO category manager. “TUCO members can also recommend operators to the contract, encouraging the sharing of best practice. Ultimately, the aim is to provide efficient and cost-effective access to the best service providers and help our members to meet their sustainable business objectives.”
The five providers currently available for members:
1. On-site food waste innovation
2. Used disposable cup collection service
3. Waste coffee ground collection service
4. Off-site sustainable food waste management service
5. Waste oil recycling collection & disposal service
How to get involved
Members must simply set out their brief and invite the specialist renewable companies within the framework to respond. TUCO is on hand to give support throughout the process, providing everything from template documents and guides on how to execute the process, to a dedicated category manager who can work in partnership with the member to create the brief. Once all submissions have been collected, they are evaluated based on the tender’s weighting, best practice presentations and cost effectiveness to find the best match.
Who is already on board?
The University of Wolverhampton is already benefiting from the contract after being set up with Organic Waste Logistics Ltd who installed an organic waste logistics system at their Telford campus. Since being installed staff have seen an improvement in hygiene levels, as rubbish is no longer left to collect throughout the week and is instead sent to an anaerobic digestion plant, where it’s converted into energy and organic fertiliser.
Why is food waste so high?
1. Front of house and student engagement – overwhelmingly the greatest challenge is encouraging students to change their behaviour.
2. Cost – financing infrastructure or student engagement campaigns can be prohibitively expensive for universities on tight budgets.
3. Data collection and analysis – capturing data on waste can be complex and is often dismissed as being too time-consuming.
4. Operations and logistics – the diversity of operations can create logistical barriers to initiatives.
5. The legislative landscape – there is currently no one model, with some countries favouring regulations and other voluntary agreements to reduce waste, and no consensus on which is best.
For more information on the TUCO waste management framework and to see a list of full suppliers, please visit tuco.ac.uk/buy/framework-agreements