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First Mile launches new food recycling service for businesses in London

This month, Islington-based recycling company, First Mile, launched a food recycling service for central London businesses. The service, which is supported by WRAP, has been designed to provide all types of business with a daily, low-cost food recycling collection service. The service will reduce CO2 emissions by an estimated 579 tonnes in the first two years of service.

The WRAP funding will enable First Mile to divert 1,000 tonnes of food waste from landfill by 2014. The collections will service a range of businesses in the hospitality and food service sectors such as restaurants, cafes, pubs and take-away restaurants as well as offices and retailers.

The service allows businesses to call First Mile to order prepaid food sacks and arrange a collection time. First Mile delivers sacks and caddies the next day and starts collecting the food immediately from the kerbside or storerooms.

WRAP is also providing communications support to First Mile to help communicate with businesses the benefits of food waste collections. Tools are also being developed to help all businesses prevent and reduce their food waste so that, in the future, they will produce less waste, which will need to be collected and processed – reducing costs for all involved. These tools will be able from the WRAP website this autumn.

Bruce Bratley, chief executive of First Mile, said: “We are delighted to launch this exciting new service, which will make food recycling accessible to thousands of new businesses in London. This new food waste recycling service complements our other services and is an important step towards First Mile’s zero waste vision. We are delighted to receive WRAP’s help and support during the launch of this exciting new service.”

Linda Crichton, head of collections and quality at WRAP, said: “We were encouraged by the amount of interest in the fund, with over 40 applications for funding received, and a wide range of projects put forward. The projects selected cover different collection approaches and contractual arrangements and will provide services to a range of food waste producing businesses and public sector organisations.

“Preventing and reducing waste is the most important thing we can do, and we hope to encourage all businesses (and households) to reduce their waste management costs as much as possible by preventing and reducing waste in the first instance.

“Where this is not possible, reusing and recycling resources is the next best thing. Recycling food waste is not only good for the environment, but also saves money elsewhere in the supply chain.”

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