Court Catering Equipment recently teamed up with Meiko to install a vacuum processing system for food waste for the first time in a UK school.
Thomas’s Battersea received a new dishwash and WasteStar food waste handling system from Meiko.
The school’s general catering manager Mark Newman said: “We wanted the best-possible environmental solution for our needs.
“Children especially are very environmentally aware and the environmental credentials of the WasteStar system has ticked all the right boxes and put us ahead of the game and ensured compliance with legislation in the future.
“We wanted to get the food waste handling aspect ‘right’ and not to have to replace it in two or three years’ time, when and if legislation changed.
“At some point soon, the government will stop the use of waste disposal equipment in the commercial kitchen. We are making sure that we are doing the right thing by the environment.”
Thomas’s provides lunch for 560 boys and girls aged four-13 years old, plus 120 staff and the food waste system processes the left-overs when trays are returned.
In an operation that is part of a new dishwashing system, the food waste is scrapped off plates as they are loaded into the large dishwasher belt.
Instead of going to landfill or being pumped down the drains via a waste disposal unit, Thomas’s food waste is now chopped into small pieces and sucked by vacuum into a sealed storage tank, to await collection by tanker.
Collection of food waste has been cut from several times per week to a maximum of twice a term.
As well as creating a sustainable solution by cutting the road miles of its collection service, the school has also cut its consumption of dishwashing detergent and chemicals with the new dishwash system that works alongside the vacuum waste system, using “around half as much detergent and rinse aid as the previous machine,” according to Newman.