Ringsend-based RiverRidge Recycling has this week launched an innovative scheme to help tackle the 97,000 tonnes of waste produced by the Northern Ireland hospitality sector.
With only 47% of this waste currently being sent to landfill, the Rethink Waste programme for the hospitality sector is a much-needed scheme that will see RiverRidge Recycling assist local hoteliers, restaurateurs and canteen operators to reduce, reuse and recycle.
Commenting on the programme, Pamela Jack from RiverRidge Recycling said: “Our focus at RiverRidge Recycling is very much about diverting waste from landfill either through recovery or recycling and the Rethink Waste programme for the hospitality sector will allow companies in the local area to benefit from our new materials recovery facility at Ringsend.
“We will be offering participants a comprehensive waste audit, which will give us an accurate profile of their waste and how it is managed. This will allow us to recommend a waste strategy for each company, outlining how they should segregate their waste, which will not only improve recycling rates but improve their bottom line by reducing the cost of sending waste to landfill,” he said.
The programme is co-funded by the Department of Environment’s Rethink Waste Fund, and administered by the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP), which is a Government backed body tasked with improving the use of waste and recyclable resources within Northern Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales.
WRAP produced The Composition of Waste Disposed of by the UK Hospitality Industry report, which estimates that over 3.4 million tonnes of waste (typically food, glass, paper and card) is produced by hotels, pubs, restaurants and other catering establishments each year – with 97,000 tonnes produced in Northern Ireland.
48 per cent or 1.6 million tonnes is reused, recycled, or composted, but 43 per cent or 1.5 million tonnes, is still disposed of or goes to landfill. Of this, 600,000 tonnes is waste food, with 400,000 tonnes which could have been eaten had it been handled more economically.
Owen Lyttle, from the Department of Environment’s Rethink Waste campaign said:
“The hospitality sector is a significant producer of waste, much of which could and should be recycled or recovered. The industry has worked hard to increase recycling rates, but the levels of waste going to landfill still remain too high. We know that many of the businesses are keen to recycle more but often find it difficult – this programme provides them with both the expert know-how and advice to not only reduce waste, but also generate significant cost savings.”
During the next few weeks, a RiverRidge Recycling representative will be contacting hotels, canteens and restaurants in Coleraine, Portrush, Portstewart, Bushmills, Ballycastle, Cushendall, Ballymena, Antrim, Toome, Magherafelt, Kilrea, Garvagh and Limavady to arrange times for this complimentary waste audit survey. Any interested participants are encouraged to contact Pamela Jack on 074 3576 1587 or the main office on 028 7086 8844.