The Problems of Traditional Food Waste Disposal Methods

food waste

Waste Disposal Units and Macerators

Putting food waste into the drain system is illegal in many parts of the world. Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and the Republic of Ireland have all banned the practice. Waste disposal units and macerators chop up food waste and then flush the ‘slurry’ into the drains causing blockages which must be cleared frequently. Fat traps have to be emptied, a particularly nasty job. Drains must be dosed with enzymes to reduce the build-up of grease inside the pipework. Large volumes of water are needed to flush the food waste slurry into the drains, as much as 600L per hour in many cases.

We have all heard the stories of huge ‘fatbergs’ clogging sewers which can take water companies weeks and hundreds of thousands of pounds the clear. With these huge costs to manage the strain on the pipe network, it is no wonder that water companies in England are actively looking at imposing their own bans on food waste into the drain system.

Compactors and Wheelie Bins

Food waste is messy and smelly. Rotting waste in compactors poses a major hygiene problem with the attraction of vermin and flies. Environmental Health Officers need to be satisfied and pest control measures put in place. Food waste corrodes compactors and increases maintenance costs. Bins needs to be washed frequently. All this requires extra money on top of the cost of transporting the 80% of food waste which is water. Have you worked out how much you are paying for this in your organisation?

Grey Water Systems

You will need to install an expensive holding tank outside and pipework to pump the macerated food waste. You will reduce the food waste disposed of but since you will need a specialist vehicle to collect the slurry, the cost saving is nullified. Food waste still goes down the drain, albeit in particle form. And the tanks needs regular flushing out which costs money in water and time.


It is a long process: six weeks normally, although some claim less. Wood chips need to be added daily and you will need an outside location and a strong constitution for the smell. It is a natural process but unless you have grounds to spread the product it is only for the eco-enthusiast or the gardener.

Waste-to-Water Systems

This technology requires the regular addition of enzymes to turn the food waste into liquid which is then flushed into the drain system. It is the same as flushing food waste into the drain, albeit in a liquid format. Foods such as soups and gravies go directly through the machine into the drain system. They require a hot water source (50°C) of up to 600L per hour and typically cost thousands per annum in water costs. They are also illegal in parts of the UK as they are still deemed to be flushing food waste into the drain system.

For More Information
We have extensive experience dealing with food and other waste in hotels and restaurants and can come to your premises to discuss your problems and objectives, and how our Eco-Smart Food Waste Dryer can meet and solve them.

Drying food waste is the future of food waste disposal and it’s here now