Raymond Blanc’s Michelin-starred luxury hotel and restaurant Belmond Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons has invested in composting and food waste drying technology from Macclesfield-headquartered Tidy Planet, helping the site to compost 94% of its annual food waste.
The A1200 Rocket Composter is the waste solutions provider’s third largest machine and can handle up to 2.5tonnes of food or organic wastes per week. It will be located next to the restaurant’s gardens and process the kitchen’s food and other compostable wastes, plus the site’s horticultural wastes.
Before entering the composter, a Gobi 400 Food Waste Dryer – also supplied by Tidy Planet – will be used to pre-treat these wastes, including post-consumer plate scrapings, single-use plastic replacements, paper hand towels and poultry bones.
The resulting compost resource will be used in the hotel’s vegetable and herb gardens and orchards, to grow organic produce for use in the two-Michelin-star restaurant, as well as the Raymond Blanc Cookery and Gardening Schools.
With the new equipment, Belmond Le Manoir expects to process around 50tonnes of organic wastes per year – generating 25-30tonnes of compost. By composting on site and shifting to compostable items instead of single-use plastics, it’s also projected to reduce the site’s general waste figures by 13%.
Commenting on the investment, Belmond Le Manoir’s health, safety, security and environment manager Rhodri Williams said: “Wherever possible, every aspect of Belmond Le Manoir is driven by ethical and environmental values. The Rocket Composter will not only enable us to implement a closed-loop system for our organic food wastes, but it will change our recycling and food waste culture, helping to further foster sustainable best practice.
“Given our organic and nose-to-tail approach to the food we use at Belmond Le Manoir, there’s never much left over from our customers’ plates that you could call ‘waste’ as such. With all produce sourced freshly and locally – or from our on-site gardens – there are primarily a lot of inedible peelings, stalks and offcuts.
“Currently, we send all our food waste for anaerobic digestion (AD) but having an on-site solution will enable us to independently treat all our waste at source and harness it as a valuable resource. As a result, we also expect a £9,000 saving in off-site disposal fees during the first year of the composter’s installation.”
Huw Crampton, sales manager at Tidy Planet, added: “Our drying technology will create a fine particle, homogenous product that can be composted on site, whereas without this process, the wastes Belmond Le Manoir produces would have otherwise been rejected by their current disposal route of AD, or would have been extremely difficult to compost on site.
“We’re very passionate about empowering organisations all over the world to manage their own organic wastes and being able to support Belmond Le Manoir in the next chapter of its sustainability venture is very exciting.”
Before investing in the equipment, Belmond Le Manoir first piloted the use of a Rocket Composter at Oxford Brookes University, when it partnered with CESHI (Centre for Environmental Studies in the Hospitality Industry) to trial the feasibility of being able to deal with food waste on site.
Williams concluded: “We take our environmental responsibility very seriously, and the new tech further cements our commitment to sustainable luxury.”
The equipment is due to be installed at the Oxfordshire-based hotel in December 2019.