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Sustainable Food Guide
Environmental Practice at Work © 2005 Link:EP@W Ltd Web Site



Composting of food waste will be very significant in meeting the targets set for Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions.

Catering waste will be vital to meeting local authority's recycling targets and the Landfill Directive targets to reduce the amount of biodegradable municipal waste that goes to landfill.

But, composting and biogas treatment of catering waste are effectively banned by the Animal By-Products Order 1999 (as amended). This is because of fears of the possible
transmission of animal diseases.

Defra carried out a risk assessment of the animal and public health risks posed by the composting/biogas treatment of catering waste and spreading it on land. They concluded that, provided satisfactory controls are in place, composting/biogas treatment can be done safely.

Defra is now developing processes to allow catering waste to be composted safely, The objective is to develop a set of rules that will allow composting of catering waste to take place economically while fully protecting animal and public health. More on the Proposed Amendment to Animal By-products Order

DEFRA also investigated the possibility of spreading MBM (Meat Bone Meal which was implicated in the spread of BSE) as a fertilser on the soil. They approached the Spongiform Encephalopathy Advisory Committee (SEAC) who said no. More in BSE.

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