December 2011 saw the first full month of the avoidable food waste pilot up at New Smithfield Market. FareShare has been accepting donated fresh food from New Smithfield Traders, sorting it and sending it out to Community Food Members, with the remainder going over to Fairfield Materials Management for composting/pig feed.
Earlier posts on this blog mentioned mangoes, avocados and peppers that were received, but we now have some figures to share on exactly how much food we’ve received and what FareShare accepted after sorting.
The results demonstrate how important this project is. Its important in terms of capturing avoidable food waste and sending it out to organisations that work with people in food poverty as it enables those organisations to make any funds they have go further. From a climate change perspective the volumes are significant.
Footprint Consulting calculate that reducing food waste by 1 kg saves 4.5 kg of CO2e while composting 1 kg of food instead of landfilling it saves 0.45 CO2e.
As all food waste on New Smithfield goes to Fairfield for processing (i.e. is not landfilled) any food captured by FareShare represents a saving of 4.05 kg of CO2e.
In the first full month FareShare received 6395.7 kg of food from NSM traders (or 6.395 tonnes)
After sorting FareShare accepted 2368.5 kg (or 2.368 tonnes)
This means that 34.7% of the food dropped off, which would previously have gone straight to composting, was edible.
In terms of carbon savings, that’s 9,592 kg of CO2e saved (Just over nine and a half tonnes).
As we get a better understanding of the volumes being donated we are looking to process surplus food, which cannot be sent out through the FareShare network quickly enough, or food which needs further trimming but which is perfectly good to cook with if used quickly. We will let you know how we get on in future posts.
*The pilot is part of a FareShare North West project funded by Manchester City Council. We are working in partnership with Manchester Markets and Food Futures to address avoidable food waste on New Smithfield Wholesale Market.