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The UK’s leading food waste recycler, ReFood, has joined the Manchester Food Board, in order to help promote better waste management in the City and encourage businesses to divert waste away from landfill. The partnership follows the opening of ReFood’s Anaerobic Digestion (AD) plant in Widnes in Summer 2014, a facility that takes food waste from across the North West, including food that’s still packaged, and turns it into renewable energy and bio-fertiliser.

The Manchester Food Board is a cross sector partnership of public, private and third sector organisations in Manchester who come together to harness the collective energy of the food sector in the City.  Chaired by Councillor Rosa Battle, Executive Member for the Environment with Manchester City Council, the board works with partners to provide a strong voice and leadership on the food agenda in Manchester, whilst working on range of commitments to improve health and create a more environmentally sustainable City.

Trudi Derbyshire, Regional Sales Manager for the North West at ReFood commented: “Working alongside organisations who are looking to create a more sustainable future has always been important to us. We’re delighted to be involved with this partnership, and to share our expertise about how food waste can be better managed in Manchester and the wider region.”

“Every year as a nation, we send millions of tonnes of food waste to landfill, unnecessarily. Not only is it environmentally harmful, but it’s also increasingly expensive. For food-intensive businesses, Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) in particular, this can be a real problem. The capacity of our Widnes site alone is 120,000tonnes, processing food waste 24/7, 365 days a year, presenting a truly sustainable closed-loop alternative to landfill.”

Councillor Rosa Battle, Chair of the Manchester Food Board, said: “Our commitment to ensure a sustainable future for Manchester is designed to improve the physical, mental and social well-being of Manchester residents. Working with a range of partners and communities across the region, we are determined to make local food better, healthier and more accessible. Reducing avoidable food waste, to ensure that surplus food can be rightly diverted to those in need, is a vital part of this strategy.”

ReFood’s Widnes processing plant was inaugurated in Summer 2014 and is capable of generating 1,800m3 biomethane gas per hour. The plant represents a £20m investment in the region and has already processed hundreds of thousands of tonnes of food waste since inauguration. ReFood collects from a 50mile radius, stretching across the North West and into surrounding areas.

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