Working with businesses to reduce food waste

Wasted food can impact on profits, whilst increasing waste management costs. It is also a significant source of greenhouse gases and, for that reason, Scotland is aiming to reduce food waste by 33% by 2025.

As part of the Highland Community Waste Partnership, the Highland Good Food Partnership is working with Zero Waste Scotland to roll out their Food waste Toolkit for businesses.

Highland organisations across the food and drink sector can sign up to take the one-month food waste challenge in order to:

  • Understand your current levels of food waste
  • Make a plan to reduce food waste
  • Cut costs, save money and reduce your climate impacts

In addition to the Tookit, you will get access to expert help and advice.

To get started, please contact Brenna Anderson : brenna@highlandgoodfood.scot
If you're located in Lochaber, you can also contact Lesley Hawkins: lesley@lochaberenviro.org.uk


Business food waste challenge information poster

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In-vessel composter network

The new 'in-vessel composting' Common Interest Group (CIG) is holding its next online meeting on April 24, 2024. It will offer a platform for members to explore shared challenges and ideas relating to managing food waste.

The CIG is delivered by SAC Consulting on behalf of Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) as part of the support service, Food and Drink TechHUB, in collaboration with Lochaber Environmental Group (LEG) and Highland Good Food Partnership (HGFP).

Benefits for members include support in understanding and applying for necessary SEPA and APHA exemptions, input from relevant authorities and experts in the area, support for businesses to save costs of waste disposal and purchase of compost and the potential to link businesses with communities to develop composting opportunities.

If you are interested in joining the network, know someone who might, or would like more information, please contact the LEG Project Officer Lesley Hawkins: lesley@lochaberenviro.org.uk

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Rocket food waste composter for loan to businesses

Food waste is one of the most difficult aspects of waste to deal with. To reduce its environmental impact it should ideally be treated as close to source as possible and re-used in the local area. For small scale businesses an in-vessel composter can facilitate this in remote rural areas.

As part of the Highland Community Waste Partnership, Lochaber Environmental Group (LEG) had an in-vessel composter, known as a Rocket A700, which had been on loan to Nevis Range for a number of years but was made available for other businesses to trial.

LEG offered to make this machine available free of charge for an initial period of 3 years extendable to 5 years to a business located in Lochaber. In exchange, LEG would request information on its performance and the chance to share the experience with others who might be interested in this technology, along with a requirement to maintain the machine in good order.

Being able to compost food waste on site has 3 main benefits for businesses:

  1. The compost produced by the in-vessel composter can be used on site to support food production.
  2. Supports business green credentials and can contribute to climate action plan.
  3. Can potentially save money on food waste collection costs. 

Ardtornish Estate were successful in becoming the new recipients of the rocket having heard about it via the Lochaber Chamber of Commerce. Read the web story below to see why they were interested in the Rocket, what they planned to compost and how they would use the compost.

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Lochaber business delighted to receive in-vessel composter to help tackle food waste.

As part of the Highland Community Waste Partnership (HCWP), Lochaber Environmental Group (LEG) recently offered to provide an in-vessel composter, called the Rocket A700 and Ardtornish Estate were successful in becoming the new recipients of the Rocket.

HCWP Project Officer, Lesley Hawkins, from LEG, caught up with the estate's Kitchen Gardener John Turner and Retail and Gardens Manager Kenny McLaughlin to find out why they were interested in the Rocket, what they planned to compost and how they would use the compost.

Hot Compost Bin Pilot at An Crùbh, Duisdale, Isle of Skye. 

Broadford & Strath Community Company (BSCC) are running a pilot project to help a community café implement some  hot composting to help save on food waste going to land fill, and also to help produce compost to be used for a small community growing area around the site in the next year.

They have provided An Crubh with two 200 litre hot compost bins and they have appointed their grounds person to maintain these bins to ensure the right mix of cardboard, food and garden waste goes in. The initial stage is for 3 months, in which time BSCC have provided check sheets and online training to ensure the smooth running of everything.

An Crubh are starting with only fruit and veg waste from the café, and after the 3 months an evaluation will be carried out by BSCC to identify and resolve any issues to assist An Crubh to move forward with the project. 

One of the biggest problems that BSCC have discovered from talking with businesses and community organisations, that have tried hot bins, is that they were not provided with ongoing assistance.  They didn’t have continued support to help with any issue and therefore the composting initiatives have often failed. One of the aims of the pilot project is to find out what the barriers to hot composting are in order to create a resources for other businesses to use in the future, including a guide, tutorial video, manuals and checklists. 

BSCC are also working alongside Lochaber Environmental Group (LEG) who are working to create a composting network for support.

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