In the United Kingdom (UK), the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) in Birmingham has begun trials of separate food waste bins alongside those for general waste as part of its ‘NEC Sustain’ initiative. The trials were launched on July 3, 2019, in conjunction with the UK AD & World Biogas Expo taking place July 3-4, 2019 at the NEC.
According to the NEC, NEC Sustain is an all-encompassing sustainability programme that has been running for over 10 years. Constantly growing and adapting to meet the needs of a changing world, it encourages the venue team to look at ways to make a positive environmental change, and ultimately prevent wastage.
The UK AD & World Biogas Expo, currently taking place at the NEC in Birmingham was selected as the perfect event to host the trial. Run in conjunction with the venue’s catering partner, Amadeus, it will see bins provided within the show floor café.
It’s hoped that following the event, the food bins will become a permanent fixture in the venue and add to its strong AD and biogas credentials. Already a zero to landfill venue, the NEC also has an average recycle rate of 80 percent. Food waste is separated on site and taken four miles to a Severn Trent anaerobic digestion (AD) plant.
At Amadeus, we are committed to working with the NEC venue to ensure as much of our food waste enters the AD Biogas waste stream as possible. With our customer’s help at the UK AD and World Biogas Expo 2019, food waste receptacles will allow any leftover food to be processed alongside our kitchen and restaurant waste, and significantly reduce the process time, said Andrew Insley, Key Account Manager at Amadeus.
The Expo is co-located with the World Biogas Summit, where discussions centred around the industry’s contribution to tackling climate change and meeting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs).
NEC Sustain is a commitment we have made to ensure that through the work and events we deliver, we are sustainable as possible. This trial with Amadeus means we can continue to push the boundaries of what we’re doing as a venue to promote sustainability within the events industry, said Linda Ritchie General Manager for the NEC.
Charlotte Morton, Chief Executive of the UK’s Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association (ADBA), joint-organisers with the World Biogas Association (WBA) of the UK AD and World Biogas Expo, concluded that it is “highly appropriate that the NEC chose the UK AD & World Biogas Expo to introduce separate food waste collections at the venue.
For many years, ADBA and WBA have advocated collecting food waste separately, both to reduce how much is generated in the first place and to ensure the rest is recycled through AD into clean gas for power, heat and transport fuel, together with natural fertilisers to help restore our depleted soils. Separate food waste collection is a major step towards reducing carbon emissions and we are delighted to see the NEC leading the way in the UK, said Charlotte Morton.