The power of leftovers

Posted by Neil Harrison on 26th August 2016

Wasted food is a major issue for the environment, and preventing it wherever possible should be the priority for everyone– particularly with Scotland’s new target to cut food waste by a third.

As much as you try, though, it is likely that your home is going to have some food waste. This may be things like tea bags and banana skins, it could food you didn’t get round to cooking or there is a fussy eater in your house who doesn’t finish their plate.
While it varies from council to council on what exactly happens to your food waste, one journey it can make is being transformed into electricity and fertiliser through a process called anaerobic digestion. Sounds very scientific. This video short from Recycle Now explains how kitchen scraps and any  uneaten food are  transformed into power.

One  key reason for not sending food waste to landfill is that as the food breaks down in the ground it starts to produce methane. While methane perhaps does not have the same level of reputation as CO2, it’s 30-times more potent as a heat-trapping gas.

When it comes to food waste the best approach is:

  1. Avoid it by planning your shopping and storing your food properly.
  2. Keep your food waste separate so that it can be turned into something else.

Take our Greener Scotland tour on how to stop wasting food.

So for the food waste you have, make sure it’s put in the food waste bin and made available for your local collection service.  It’s far better to tap into the power of leftovers, unwanted or out of date food than leave it to rot.