It’s time to re-evaluate food waste disposers, says the Catering Equipment Suppliers Association

CESA champions the use of modern catering food waste disposers

Food waste disposers (FWDs) deliver huge benefits for the caterer, offering a safe and simple way of dealing with a major waste issue and reducing waste disposal costs.  However, in the past they have had a bad press.  Now CESA, the Catering Equipment Suppliers Association, is aiming to put that right by dispelling the myths and misinformation surrounding FWDs.  It points out that the latest research shows that, far from creating blockage issues and consuming water and energy, modern FWDs can reduce waste disposal problems, require little power, minimal water, and actually increase the bio gas or energy yield from sewage. 

Here are CESA’s answers to FAQs on FWDs:

FWDs do NOT block sewers.  According to research in the US, Australia, Japan, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Sweden, the minute particles produced by FWDs are easily transported through sewers.  These particles do not contribute to the problems caused by fats, oils and grease (FOGs).  (As a result of this research, New York rescinded its 18-year ban on FWDs). 

FWDs do NOT consume excessive amounts of water.  Modern FWDs, used correctly, require only limited water to process waste. 

FWDs need minimal energy – and they can produce much more than they consume.  Modern units require very short run times, so they use only minimal amounts of energy.  Their energy consumption compares favourably with all other forms of bio waste management where composting on site is not an option.  Food waste considerably increases the biogas or energy yield of sewage.  In fact, research in Germany (Institute for Municipal Water Treatment, University of Karlsruhe) found that FWDs can produce 25 times more electricity, from biogas, than they consume. 

FWDs are good for the environment.  By sending food waste through the existing sewer system, FWDs reduce the need for separate waste collections.  Each tonne of food waste diverted from landfill and processed through an FWD can save one tonne of CO2 equivalent.  Plus, FWDs enhance the extraction of sustainable value from food waste, providing water waste treatment works with a nutrient-rich source of material that can be used to generate renewable energy. 

The Catering Equipment Suppliers Association (CESA) is the authoritative voice of the catering equipment industry, representing over 150 companies who supply, service and maintain all types of commercial catering equipment – from utensils to full kitchen schemes.  For more information on CESA visit www.cesa.org.uk