Tackling London’s air pollution crisis with food waste technology

Lisa Giovannielli
Nov 13, 2017 · 2 min read

Air pollution in London has hit a crisis point. In July of this year, the new Environment Secretary, Michael Gove announced that in-line with a High Court ruling the Government would be outlawing the sale of diesel and petrol cars and vans from 2040 as part of a £3 billion clean air strategy.

The Government had also been ordered to produce new plans to tackle illegal levels of the harmful pollutant nitrogen dioxide, specifically emitted by diesel vehicles, that is now linked to the health and welfare of nearly 95 per cent of the capital’s population.

The emphasis was immediately placed on the auto industry to address this problem. “It’s critically important that we provide the encouragement from government to help the auto industry do the right thing.” Said Mr. Gove. Other more immediate clean air measures were also outlined, including a £255 million fund to help councils speed up measures to deal with pollution from diesel vehicles.

Incentivised scrappage schemes, new road layouts and removing speedbumps were also considered but these measures don’t actually take vehicles off the road.

The answer perhaps doesn’t lie within the vehicles currently on the roads — but why they are there in the first place.

Waste disposal and collection

The last two decades have seen a massive shift in what we do with our commercial waste. The increased cost of landfill and improved recycling technology has seen a gradual move from a waste to a resource economy.

However, regardless of its destination, the process of collecting and removing waste has changed very little, usually involving a big, diesel guzzling truck doing the rounds.

This is particularly true of food, a waste stream that is often unavoidable, near impossible to recycle and has a tendency to contaminate other waste streams, reducing their value as a resource.

However, a proven technology exists today that would remove the need to collect food waste from hotels, restaurants and other catering establishments and get those trucks off the road.

A waste disposal solution

On-site food waste disposal technology can not only reduce air pollution by removing a considerable number of trucks from the roads but also help businesses improve their overall operating efficiencies while becoming smarter about how to prevent the waste in the first place.

What difference could this make in central London? Enough to be able to take a breath of fresh air.



Lisa Giovannielli

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