New report finds anaerobic digestion provides best food waste solution

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Pic: U.S Department of Agriculture Link: https://www.flickr.com/photos/usdagov/15951717452
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A new report to help cities manage their food waste has been released today (16 May) and states that treating inedible food waste through anaerobic digestion provides the best environmental result. 

The report, titled ‘Global Food Waste Management: An Implementation Guide for Cities’ has been written by the World Biogas Association (WBA) in partnership with the C40 Cities Food, Water and Waste Programme. 

This report sets out: 

  • The experiences of cities around the world in managing food waste 
  • The best practices for preventing and reducing food waste 
  • An overview of collection systems to ensure clean food waste is brought to treatment 
  • Treatment alternatives for inedible food waste, from composting to anaerobic digestion 
  • The use of outputs from the various treatment processes 
  • The policies needed to ensure food waste is sustainably managed.  

The report said that if separately collecting and treating inedible food waste was implemented on a global level, it would have the same impact in terms of CO2 emissions reduction as taking all cars in the EU off the road.   

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It also examines the role of biogas technologies, which through anaerobic digestion (AD) recycles inedible food waste into renewable heat and power, clean transport fuel, and nutrient-rich biofertiliser.  

WBA president David Newman said: “Cities have a fundamental role to play and a brilliant opportunity to seize in cutting emissions as over half the world’s population now lives in urban areas.  

“Treating inedible food waste represents an opportunity to cut emissions while resolving other issues around energy, soil quality, waste management and human health in urban areas. The technologies to resolve all these (particularly AD) are mature and deployable now, and the WBA can support cities in their transition. What are we waiting for?”  

 

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