New global report to help cities manage their food waste

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

According to the World Biogas Association a new international report to help cities manage their food waste has been launched today (16th May) in Rotterdam. The report sets out: 

  • the experiences of cities around the world in managing their 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 and how to best valorise them; and
  • thepolicies needed to ensure food waste is sustainably managed. 

The report puts particular emphasis on the importance of separately collecting and treating inedible food waste, which if implemented on a global level would have the same impact in terms of CO2 emissions reduction as taking all cars in the EU off the road. Most cities around the world currently do not collect food waste separately, leaving it to be disposed of in dumps, landfills or incinerators. As a result, food waste is not treated and loses its potential to resolve a series of environmental issues faced by all cities.

The report also highlights the role of biogas technologies, which through anaerobic digestion (AD) recycle inedible food waste into renewable heat and power, clean transport fuel, and nutrient-rich biofertiliser. AD technologies, which are mature, ready-to-implement, and cost-effective, allow maximum recovery of resources for both green energy generation and soil restoration. 

The report was launched at Blue City, an incubator for circular-economy entrepreneurs based in Rotterdam. The city has developed a strong reputation for being ‘green’, and is aiming to develop the most sustainable port in the world. The Mayor of the City of Rotterdam, His Excellency Ahmed Aboutaleb, was presented with a copy of the report to mark its publication. As well as presentations from the report’s authors, the launch also featured presentations on food waste and the circular economy from sustainability platform Holland Circular Hotspot and from Blue City itself.



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