With waste of all kinds coming under increasing scrutiny, CESA is taking a stand against the tens of thousands of working appliances the foodservice industry is throwing away every year: it has published a Guide to Decommissioned Catering Equipment to try to tackle the issue.
Many appliances enter the waste stream for the materials to be recycled, but this should be the last resort.
“Scrapping perfectly serviceable equipment undermines the foodservice industry’s sustainability aspirations and credibility,” says John Whitehouse, Chair of CESA. “It’s also a waste of money – the value of this unnecessarily scrapped equipment on the second hand market is tens of £millions per year. WEEE (the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive) is designed to recycle components from equipment that is no longer working. Sadly, it doesn’t protect serviceable equipment from being scrapped too early.”
CESA has published the guide to provide industry insight into the facts and show how to tackle the problem. The CESA Guide to Decommissioned Catering Equipment is available to download for free from the Info Hub, which is accessed via the information tab on the home page at cesa.org.uk.
“We’re not suggesting that operators shouldn’t buy new equipment to replace old – often changing menus, refurbishment or upgrades mean that old appliances simply aren’t up to the job,” says John. “However, scrapping isn’t the only answer. Reconditioning equipment is not just greener, it can also be a major weapon in the campaign to stop misguided caterers who still buy domestic appliances because they are cheaper, despite the health and safety risks. A supply of secondhand equipment will encourage them to step up to commercial standards, since it will be more affordable.”
The guide also points out that arranging responsible reuse raises great CSR and PR opportunities. “Obviously it will help with any company’s sustainability targets,” adds John. “However, there’s also the option of using the income or the equipment itself to help low budget organisations, such as charities, social enterprises, new business start-ups or projects in third world countries.
“In terms of sustainability, the refurbishment of secondhand equipment makes a real contribution to the circular economy.”
The guide notes that the main reason for the industry’s ‘scrap it’ mentality is a lack of knowledge about the other options available, which the guide seeks to address, with the parting advice: save it or sell it, don’t just scrap it!