What about your business?
In the 2008 EPA Waste Characterisation Report a series of waste benchmarks were estimated for each of the main commercial business sectors in Ireland. These allow businesses to roughly calculate how much food waste they may be generating each year.
When it comes to food, and food waste, the quantity generated is usually related to a certain level of business activity. For example, in schools it would be related to the number of students and in hotels related to the number of people staying, also referred to as bednights.
These will vary for different types of businesses and the benchmarks estimated during the EPA commercial characterisation study reflect this. A full list of Food Waste Generation Benchmarks is now available and the following example shows how they can be used.
If you have a restaurant with 9 full time equivalent staff then you could be generating:
9 x 0.8 = 7.2 tonnes of food waste annually
Taking the cost of food waste at €3,000 per tonne, the cost to this business can be estimated at €3,000 x 7.2 = €21,000 per year.
While not perfect, these food waste benchmarks provide a starting point for estimating how much food waste your business may be generating each year. Then, by putting a monetary value on this wasted food, businesses will be much more motivated to tackle the issue of their food waste.