EnviroServ helps reduce organic waste to landfill

EnviroServ helps reduce organic waste to landfill

2023 / 08 / 03

While the number of people around the world living in poverty who do not have access to basic food rises each year, so too does the amount of food which goes to waste.


World hunger is on the rise, affecting nearly 10% of people globally, according to Action Against Hunger. From 2019 to 2022, the number of undernourished people grew by as many as 150 million, a crisis driven largely by conflict, climate change, and the pandemic. Simultaneously, the world continues to face a food waste problem.

According to the World Wildlife Fund, an estimated one-third of all the food produced in the world goes to waste - equal to about 1.3 billion tons of fruits, vegetables, meat, dairy, seafood, and grains that either never leave the farm, get lost or spoiled during distribution, or are thrown away in hotels, grocery stores, restaurants, schools, or home kitchens.

“While it seems like a humanitarian crisis that this food is wasted rather than fed to hungry people, the problem is bigger than social – it extends to being an environmental one, as wasted food means wasted resources, including water and electricity used in the growing and manufacturing process," said Yolandi Kruger, EnviroServ Waste Management’s National On-site Commercial Manager. “Food which ends up in a landfill bio-degrades, or rots, producing a greenhouse gas called methane, which is 18 times more even more harmful to the environment than carbon dioxide.”

Innovative systems for food waste management

EnviroServ helps its customers complete the circle of sustainability by tailoring individually-appropriate solutions for food waste. “We start by looking at a customer’s specific volumes as this tells us which of our solutions will be most appropriate,” Kruger said.

“For waste volumes under a tonne, such as a small staff canteen, we use a drum composting system.” According to Kruger, EnviroServ manages the system on behalf of customers, training canteen staff on how to use it on a daily basis to manage their waste. “We handle separation at source, collect the bins when full and take the waste for composting.”

For any food waste over a tonne, the company offers a choice of two solutions, one being a digital, in-vessel composter. “This is a fully electric machine which is placed on a customer’s site, and entirely managed by EnviroServ. Aside from food waste, it can also take compostable serviettes, cutlery, paper and cardboard; meaning it extends across a broader variety of waste streams,” said Kruger. This machine produces compost on site, which can be given to staff or sold as an income stream. “EnviroServ can also assist customers who are interested in creating a food garden for their staff.”

To pre-compost medium to larger volumes, EnviroServ has skips available for composting food waste. “Separation at source is key, which is where our trained professionals are vital. Everything is tailored to our customer requirements, whether you are a food producer, a mall, a hospital, an office block with a canteen - we can help you reduce waste to landfill,” Kruger said.

A greener planet for all

Up to eight percent of all greenhouse gas emissions caused by humans could be reduced if the world stopped wasting food. In the United States, the production of lost or wasted food generates the equivalent of 32.6 million cars’ worth of greenhouse gas emissions.

“South Africa is slowly joining the movement towards diverting organic waste from landfill, as municipalities look at introducing bylaws to govern how organic waste is to be dealt with,” said Kruger. Since 2022, the Western Cape Government has instructed all organic waste generators to divert 50% of their organic waste away from landfills. This target will increase to 100% by 2027.

Last year, Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, Barbara Creecy, said that in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, South Africa would aim to “halve per capita food waste at the retail and consumer levels and reduce food losses along production and supply chain”.

EnviroServ’s mission is to help its customers to rethink their processes and take sustainable action; which results in significant environmental and business benefits. Every individual can take small steps to curb their own emissions, from shopping smarter or doing home composting to keep food scraps from landfill.



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