Image: Ana Clara Paniago \ Boar News

Warwick retail wasted food amounts to £56k in 2015

Warwick retail outlets at the University wasted over £56,000 worth of food during term time in 2015, according to a Freedom of Information request submitted by the Boar.

According to the recent statistics, the University threw away or wasted £56,328 of food in the 30 weeks of term during the 2015 calendar year.

This means that last year on average, the University binned £268 worth of food each day during term time.

The stats showed that Warwick retail’s most wasteful period was Term 1 of the current 2015/16 academic year. The report suggests that £20,197 worth of food went to waste last term.

Food wastage peaked in Week 2 of Term 1 where £2,854 worth of food was wasted during the course of the week. This averages out to more than £400 a day during that week.

These statistics represent food which goes out of date and remains unsold. However, these stats also include free condiments such as sugar, salt and pepper since the University includes these items on their wastage reports.

These figures reflect just the waste levels of Warwick retail managed establishments which includes venues such as the Humanities Cafe, the Library Cafe and Bar Fusion.

Despite large amounts of food going to waste, the University does not currently donate any unsold food to local food banks or homeless shelters.

A spokesperson from the University told the Boar: “Currently, no food waste is donated to charity, however the University Sustainability team are looking at this option for future development”.

This arrangement could change in the coming years and Isaac Leigh, president of the Students’ Union (SU), stated: “There is a lot more that the University could do in this area.

“Independent groups such as RAWKUS, supported by the SU, have led the way on food waste, in particular donating to local groups who need it most.”

SU food outlets do not currently donate food to charities either, however, Mr Leigh confirmed that the SU helps out in other ways: “We have very little non-plate waste, and recycle that which we do have. All our food waste is sent for anaerobic digestion which converts it to electricity; our used cooking oil is collected and converted into biofuel.”

Although Warwick does not currently operate a food donation scheme, other UK universities already have a scheme in place to donate unsold food to local charities.

Leeds University currently donates sealed and unused food to a local homeless shelter.


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