Scottish Government
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Reducing food waste

A new green scheme that recycles food waste has been launched.

The Commercial Food Waste Collection Service, run by Keenan Recycling, creates BSI accredited compost from items such as leftover food, coffee grounds, cups and paper towels collected from businesses and restaurants in the North East.

First Minister Alex Salmond officially lanched the scheme today. He met staff taking forward the environmentally- friendly service at the Aberdeen offices of Shell Upstream Europe, one of around 30 businesses already taking advantage of the scheme.

Keenan Recycling, which is based at New Deer in Aberdeenshire, already recycles green waste from a number of Scottish local authorities and food waste for Aberdeen City Council.

The Scottish Government published its Zero Waste Plan last month. It sets out key actions and new targets to tackle the near 20 million tonnes of waste produced in Scotland every year.

The plan focuses on transforming waste into a valuable resource which can be used to make new products, generate renewable energy, heat and fertiliser with the potential to create over 2,000 jobs.

The Government plans to introduce legislation requiring mandatory food waste collections by 2013, leading to savings for local authorities. This will increase the quality of other waste that can be separated and recycled for value.

Mr Salmond said:

"The Scottish Government is committed to creating a cleaner, greener Scotland where waste is recycled to create valuable resources, supporting our economy and protecting our natural environment.

"Keenan Recycling's exciting new service is a significant move in the right direction. It produces a valuable resource from food waste, reduces the amount of waste being sent to landfill and cuts down greenhouse gas emissions.

"We have made good progress towards becoming a zero waste society, but we still throw away enough rubbish to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool every ten minutes and this has to change.

"If all of the food waste currently produced in Scotland was captured and treated separately, it could generate enough energy to power a city almost the size of Aberdeen.

"Our ground breaking Zero Waste Plan aims to change the way we view the things we throw away. We have set ambitious new targets to recycle 70 percent of all waste with a maximum of five percent sent to landfill by 2025. Using waste as a resource will deliver climate change benefits, create employment opportunities and support a thriving low carbon economy."

Grant Keenan, Managing Director of Keenan Recycling, said:

"We are delighted that the First Minister is supporting the Commercial Food Waste Collection service as it is a major step to reduce landfill waste in Scotland and particularly in the North-east. Many companies already recycle the usual cans, plastic, cardboard and paper but food waste is the final piece in the recycling jigsaw.

"Our collection service can be used by a variety of companies and we are already working with a number of firms in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, including large oil companies, waste management companies, hotels, colleges and shopping centres.

"Businesses using the new service can help the environment, increase recycling rates and it's a huge leap towards the target of zero waste to landfill."

Steve Harris, Head of Communications at Shell in Aberdeen, said:

"Shell believe business should care about the society in which it operates. Around our operations we strive to be sensitive to the environmental contribution we can make. We are therefore delighted to be among the first to join this pioneering scheme."

Howard Jonas, Operations Director of Enviroco Limited, said:

"Enviroco have been providing waste management services to Shell for over 10 years. Our team of waste assessment specialists ensure that every waste stream that Enviroco either handles or manages is routed in accordance with strong environmental principles. Our key account managers have worked proactively with Keenan Recycling to bring this new service to four Shell sites in early 2010.

"Ensuring that our customer's waste is routed in a sustainable manner, with full regard to the waste hierarchy and proximity principle, means that we not only improve environmental performance but also support local businesses whenever we can."

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