Waste not, want not – how to manage commercial food waste

As you scale up your food and drink operation, have you thought about how you will manage your food waste?

Often, the food and drink businesses we support and help grow have either just scaled up their operations, or are at the point of doing so. As manufacturing grows so too can food waste volumes. Somerset based, waste equipment and processing experts, PRM Waste Systems, have written a superb guest blog for us, detailing the management of food waste and ways to reduce the amount that enters landfill.


UK companies have a Duty of Care to operate according to the principles of waste minimisation. This is set out in 4 steps known as the Waste Hierarchy.

The Waste Hierarchy

WRAP Food hierarchy

The most preferable option is to prevent food from becoming waste in the first place. If this is not possible, the next best option is to recycle, either by sending the waste to anaerobic digestion or composting.

Avoiding landfill

There are a number of equipment solutions available to help reduce the amount of food waste ending up in landfill by utilising Anaerobic Digestion (AD).


The PRM Bio-Processor can reduce the volume of food waste by up to 80% in as little as 24 hours. Waste is broken down aerobically using tiny microbes, affectionately known as ‘Little Pigs’. More formally, this process is controlled by Jem Adaptive Logic™ which intelligently maintains a unique blend of microbes specially optimised to break down your organic materials. Bio-processors are available in a range of sizes, from compact bin-sized, to processors capable of holding up to 1000kg of waste.

Bio-processors can reduce the volume of waste so significantly that the need for bin lifts can be dramatically reduced too. One operation reduced their bin lifts from 15 to 3 per week!

Depending on the input material, the end product (digestate) can potentially be used as biomass fuel, fertiliser, bio-refining or compost production.


This food waste depackaging machine separates organic waste from its packaging without water and without grinding – whatever the type of packaging or organic matter. By removing the packaging from food residues, FlexiDry recovers the fermentable fraction of waste that can be turned into biogas and fertilizer.

FlexiDry processes many types of packaging. The recovered organics presents close to 0% contaminants and up to 99% of the organic matter is extracted. The process relies on low energy consuming mechanical actions and requires no water addition.

Runi depackaging

The Runi depackaging machine is highly effective at separating liquid from its packaging. The resulting packaging is significantly reduced in weight and volume and the liquid is put to use as an additional, valuable feedstock in the AD plant.

Vincent screw press

For material where packaging is not a concern, the Vincent screw press excels in dewatering fibrous material.

This equipment also has a long history in the citrus industry for processing citrus peel both to produce animal feed and pectin peel. Vincent presses are utilised in the processing of food waste where the press separates water (press liquor) to be treated or disposed of and the solids (press cake) to be reduced in weight and volume.

Need advice about managing food waste?

PRM Waste Systems has an enviable reputation for cost-effective solutions to industrial waste and recycling problems. To find out how they could help your business call them on 01823 665541.

James PattenTechnical Director

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