Food Waste in the Hospitality Industry

Though lots of attention and encouragement has been given to composting and donating leftover food, the first step we can take is to reduce the amount of food produced. Reducing food portions will help immensely and play an important role lessening the waste. Not only is it a good cost control measure to do an inventory of all of your food products, but it will also ensure that perishable food does not go bad before you get to use it. By putting in place and respecting an organized inventory process, waste of easily perishable food can go down. This will also help in reducing food costs greatly.

Stop Food Waste

Introduction

 Every year, 475 pounds of food waste is produced by the average person adding up to more than 70 million tons in our landfills. Not only does the waste attract vermin, it emits odors and liquids that are toxic to the environment. As a result, the methane gas generated from the waste is 20 to 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Food waste has become a big issue in all types of businesses.

 This is especially true in the hospitality industry. Haute cuisine, all you can eat buffets, and in room dining are all an integral part of the hospitality experience. But what happens to all the leftovers once guests are done eating? Most of it will be hauled off to landfills at a great cost to the establishment and an even greater cost to the environment.

Our report will look at and provide statistics on…

View original post 3,850 more words

Advertisements

Trends in Food Waste Management

Food waste is an untapped energy source that mostly ends up rotting in landfills, thereby releasing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Food waste is difficult to treat or recycle since it contains high levels of sodium salt and moisture, and is mixed with other waste during collection. Major generators of food wastes include hotels, restaurants, supermarkets, residential blocks, cafeterias, airline caterers, food processing industries, etc.

In United States, food waste is the third largest waste stream after paper and yard waste. Around 12.7 percent of the total municipal solid waste (MSW) generated in the year 2008 was food scraps that amounted to about 32 million tons. According to EPA, about 31 million tons of food waste was thrown away into landfills or incinerators in 2008. As far as United Kingdom is concerned, households throw away 8.3 million tons of food each year. These statistics are an indication of tremendous amount of food waste generated all over the world.

The proportion of food waste in municipal waste stream is gradually increasing and hence a proper food waste management strategy needs to be devised to ensure its eco-friendly and sustainable disposal. Food waste can be recycled via:

  • In-vessel composting (IVC): A treatment that breaks down biodegradable waste by naturally occurring micro-organisms with oxygen, in an enclosed vessel or tunnel;
  • Anaerobic digestion (AD): A treatment that breaks down biodegradable waste in the absence of oxygen, producing a renewable energy (biogas) that can be used to generate electricity and heat.

Currently, only about 3 percent of food waste is recycled throughout U.S., mainly through composting. Composting provides an alternative to landfill disposal of food waste, however it requires large areas of land, produces volatile organic compounds and consumes energy. Consequently, there is an urgent need to explore better recycling alternatives. Anaerobic digestion has been successfully used in several European and Asian countries to stabilize food wastes, and to provide beneficial end-products. Sweden, Austria, Denmark, Germany and England have led the way in developing new advanced biogas technologies and setting up new projects for conversion of food waste into energy.

Of the different types of organic wastes available, food waste holds the highest potential in terms of economic exploitation as it contains high amount of carbon and can be efficiently converted into biogas and organic fertilizer. Food waste can either be used as a single substrate in a biogas plant, or can be co-digested with organic wastes like cow manure, poultry litter, sewage, crop residues, abattoir wastes, etc.

Enhanced by Zemanta