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Birds Eye to meet zero waste target in 2012

By Freddie Dawson , 19-Mar-2012

Frozen food firm Birds Eye will meet its zero waste to landfill target two years ahead of schedule this year, thanks partly to composting, according to its waste reduction partner Biffa.

Composting waste vegetables, including potatoes, at its Lowestoft site had helped the firm cut the material it sent to landfill by 21% last year.

Birds Eye and Biffa are also considering an on-site composting facility at the frozen food firm’s Lowestoft site that could be opened later this year.

Most of the firm’s vegetable waste is used for animal feed.

Bio-diesel

Phil Newbury, Biffa contract manager, said Bird’s Eye would cut waste by 20 – 30% this year helped by a recycling plan for waste cooking oil. The cooking oil will be processed into bio-diesel, which will be used to fuel 40 Biffa vehicles dedicated its collection.

After an audit of recycling, Birds Eye had also encouraged staff to boost recycling rates. This is being achieved by introducing new bins and creating recycling champions among the workforce.

It was important to show the workforce why recycling was important, said Newbury.

“It wasn’t just plonking down a bin and then walking away. You have to give them the tools to do it properly – there needs to be education to show them the logic behind it and why it is important,” he said.

Also, Birds Eye’s food waste, including animal by product waste, was sent to Biffa’s anaerobic digestion facility in Cannock, Staffordshire. Opened in June 2011, the site can process up to 120,000t of food waste each year – enough to generate power for up to 10,000 homes.

While Birds Eye had made progress in reducing waste before Biffa’s involvement, its contribution had managed to “move their waste reduction on”, said Newbury.

Matt Partridge at Birds Eye said: “We are committed to reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill, and Biffa is instrumental in helping us to achieve that. It’s important to us, and it’s important to our customers.”

Recycling materials

Edward Pigg, Biffa integrated waste management general manager, said: “Biffa is working with Birds Eye to find markets for recycled materials whilst reducing spend on waste disposal.

“It is a good example of how food manufacturers can improve environmental performance and reduce long-term costs by putting waste management at the centre of their day to day operations.”

Biffa provides Birds Eye with an integrated waste management package. That included Biffa staff working at Birds Eye’s Lowestoft site.

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