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Programme of Research on Food Waste Disposal - WR1301

This programme of work was initiated in early 2008. The first phase of work was an initial sustainability assessment to inform a proposed programme of work investigating in depth the potential impacts of more widespread use of domestic food waste disposal units. This programme was jointly funded by Defra and the water industry, through the industry`s collaborative research body UK Water Industry Research (UKWIR).

The purpose of the initial phase was to undertake a desk-based modelling study, using information which was readily available, which would highlight the financial and technical factors associated with potential widescale FWD use. The model which was built as part of the study provides a simple representation of the options for segregated kerbside collection or widescale FWD use and the resulting treatment and re-use routes. It is limited to considering only certain specific collection of treatment options which were selected prior to the commissioning of the study.

The model does not seek to identify which is the ‘best option’ but instead to identify the relative magnitude of the key factors as a means of prioritising further research and data collection. It was intended that the model would provide a framework for the evaluation of data arising from future practical trials of FWD units and would be further developed within the course of the programme.

Since the initial desk study in early 2008, the programme was unable to establish a collaborative trial with a local authority and water company due in part to the sharp decline in the property market and funding restrictions. The original desk study is, therefore, now published as a stand-alone document. Since the initial draft report in 2008 a number of revisions have been made in response to detailed technical comment and peer review. However, other data have become available more recently which are not considered in the model as it currently stands.
Project Documents
• FRP - Final Report : WR1301 Food Waste Disposal Units - Final Report [for publication]   (1042k)
• ANX - Annex : WR1301 FWDU Context Note   (202k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2008

To: 2011

Cost: £131,154
Contractor / Funded Organisations
WRc plc
Environmental Protection              
Food Waste              
Processing techs for treatment /energy recovery              
Residual Wastes Management              
Sustainable Consumption and Production              
Waste collection and handling systems              
Waste Management              
Fields of Study
Waste Management