Foodservice operators have been urged to save decommissioned kitchen equipment from scrap to avoid it becoming a sustainability menace.
Trade body CESA says the industry is guilty of throwing away “tens of thousands of working appliances” every year when they could be fuelling the circular economy by reselling it through legitimate second-hand channels.
It has published a ‘Guide to Decommissioned Catering Equipment’ to tackle the issue and make companies think twice about what they do with equipment they no longer need but still works.
John Whithouse, chair of CESA, said many appliances enter the waste stream for the materials to be recycled when in fact this should be the last resort.
“Scrapping perfectly serviceable equipment undermines the foodservice industry’s sustainability aspirations and credibility. 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’s guide notes that arranging responsible reuse raises great CSR and PR opportunities and can help with internal sustainability targets. There is 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.
Mr Whitehouse continued: “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. 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 second hand equipment will encourage them to step up to commercial standards, since it will be more affordable.”
The CESA Guide to Decommissioned Catering Equipment is available to download for free from the Info Hub, which is accessed via the information tab of the organisation’s home page.