AMDEA (the Association of Manufacturers of Domestic Appliances) welcomes the publication today of the House of Commons EFRA Committee Report on Waste Management in England, because it not only recognises waste as a resource, but also acknowledges that recycling must be economically and environmentally viable.

This is particularly true of domestic food waste where a single focus on separate collection for road transport to AD (anaerobic digestion) overlooks the disproportionate expense and lack of success that is achieved, especially in inner cities. It is refreshing to note that EFRA recommends that successful waste management solutions should adapt to suit local circumstances.

AMDEA's FWD (Food Waste Disposer) Group have long campaigned for the adoption of a range of waste management options. To achieve policy targets and sustained success the Government should promote a range of options that suit the differing situations, living conditions and levels of commitment of the population, including food waste disposers.  Food waste disposers are small appliances that fit under the kitchen sink and grind food waste to minute particles that flow easily through the sewer system to waste water treatment, where both energy and soil improver are extracted.  They help ensure that food waste is not consigned to landfill by those households who cannot or will not store their food waste and take it to the kerbside for separate collection.

Douglas Herbison, Chief Executive, AMDEA says: "Evidence from countries worldwide is demonstrating that combined recycling programmes including the use of domestic FWD and the utilisation of existing sewer infrastructure can enable better recycling performance.  For the elderly, infirm or those city homes that lack space, storage, carrying out to the street once a week requires a level of health, strength and commitment not found in the entire population."

This applies particularly for multi-occupancy premises in cities, where the benefits in terms of capturing the waste in the kitchen, and the avoidance of the organic waste festering in public areas are clear.

Cross contamination of other potentially valuable dry recyclables is an additional hazard presented by stored food waste. Wet, putrescible food waste can compromise the yield of reusable or recyclable materials and diminishes their value.  By separating food waste at source, in the kitchen, FWDs can help improve overall recycling rates as part of a combined programme of measures.

Douglas Herbison concludes, "England can hope to reach the EU recycling target, but to do so viably and maximise the recovery of the biogas and fertilizer value of food waste, a range of options should be adopted, including FWD.  European examples of the adoption of FWD, includes a 10 year study in Surahammar, Sweden, which has shown how the wide use of FWD, disposing to sewer through to waste water treatment plants with AD capacity, have achieved very positive results in relation to gas production and fertiliser products."


Notes to Editors

AMDEA www.amdea.org.uk is the UK trade association for the manufacturers of large and small domestic appliances; representing over 85% of the domestic appliance industry. Members are all manufacturers, importers or distributors of household appliances.

In 2010 those members who manufacture food waste disposers formed AMDEA's Food Waste Disposer Group with the aim of promoting a greater awareness of the benefits of food waste disposers (FWDs) and informing the waste management debate. www.food-waste-disposer.org.uk


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