Total waste generation worldwide is expected to double by 2025, and companies like Modus Waste & Recycling have a pivotal role in tackling this issue both locally and nationally.
Originally specialising in domestic bulk waste collections, Modus Waste & Recycling provided residences in the Black Country with services to collect and recycle materials such as wood and metal. After attending one of EBRI’s Value from Waste Master Classes at Aston University, their founder was inspired to explore a brand new direction for the company–collecting commercial food waste and putting it to good use.
This new venture offers its clients, including breweries, restaurants, pubs and cafés, a weekly waste collection service. The company then collates and delivers it to a 3rd party Anaerobic Digestion (AD) plant-based in Staffordshire. The plant takes this food waste and converts the organic material in a digester, creating methane-rich combustible biogas and a digestible residue called ‘digestate’, which acts as a fertilizer.
A valuable and useful alternative to landfill, Anaerobic Digestion prevents between 0.5 and 1.0 tonne of CO2 from entering the atmosphere for each tonne of food processed in this way.
Findings and Recommendations
Our business research associates from EBRI provided the management of Modus Waste & Recycling with an in-depth market report of the waste management sector and a ‘Value from Waste’ Master Class. Findings highlighted novel areas for improvement, including new separation routes for maximising the recyclable value of food waste and singling out waste with higher Energy from Waste (EfW) potential.
Equipped with this knowledge, EBRI helped the management of Modus Waste & Recycling to make better-informed decisions surrounding the long-term investment in this family-run business.
Preventing Waste & Protecting the Environment
The UK produces 10 million tonnes of food waste annually; approximately 60% of this waste is avoidable and costs the economy up to £17 billion per year. Pubs, restaurants, food manufacturers and retailers alone are responsible for 5 million tonnes of wasted food. Traditionally this type of waste is landfilled, where it rots and releases methane, a greenhouse gas which is 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide.  Avoidable food waste in the UK is responsible for up to 20 million tonnes of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
We welcome collaboration opportunities with academia, government bodies and industry from around the world.
Energy and Bioproducts Research institute (EBRI)
 Daniel Hoornweg, P.B.-T.a.A.J.-G., What a waste? A global review of solid waste management, in Urban development series knowledge papers; W. bank, Editor. 2012, World Bank Group.p.116
 Environment Food and Rural Affairs Committee, Food waste in England 2016-2017. April 2017, House of Commons