Food Recycling: Give it a Go!

October 3, 2017

On average, in every general waste bin / bag in Wales, 25% of the content is incorrectly disposed of food waste. Students, unfortunately, are currently less conscientious than other demographics about recycling food waste.

Megan Wilson, USWSU Acting President said:

“A lot of people are recycling their food, which is great, but we know that there’s a lot more we can do, especially students living in the USW areas of Treforest, Cardiff and Newport.

“Every single thing we recycle can make a big difference to how much energy we can create for student communities, whilst helping Wales become the best recycling nation in the world.

“For example, 32 recycled tea bags could produce enough energy to power a guitar amp for an hour – long enough for the next party at Eclipse Nightclub! That’s amazing!”

Food waste which is recycled in Rhondda Cynon Taf, Newport and Cardiff is sent to an anaerobic digestion plant where it is used to produce methane. This is then turned into energy.

Food waste that ends up in landfill also creates the greenhouse gas methane which is leaked directly into the atmosphere. For the first twenty years after it is emitted, methane is 84 times more potent than CO2 as greenhouse gas, so burning it to produce energy is far preferable to letting it leak into the atmosphere. Not only does it generate energy: it actually reduces your waste’s impact on the climate.

What can I recycle?

You can recycle any food, and all food waste – but no liquids please. Keep an eye out for these unavoidable food waste items when you’re preparing food:

  • Chicken or meat bones.
  • Tea bags and coffee grounds.
  • Peels from fruit and vegetables.
  • Egg shells.
  • Plate scrapings.

For more information, head to the Recycle for Wales website

How much energy can my food waste generate?

Just two small caddies full of food waste could generate enough electricity to power a typical home for over one and a half hours.

Here are some more examples:

One pumpkin shell can generate enough power to fully charge 2 laptops
331 tea bags can generate enough electricity for a ten-minute power shower
Half a banana peal can generate enough power to fully charge a smartphone
One food caddy can generate enough power to run a light bulb for 24 hours

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