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Why is Lord Deben against "food waste"?

Lord Deben has been a busy boy again in recent days, making the keynote speech at a conference about waste management in the food industry.

Former farm minister and environment secretary, Lord Deben (pictured), has called for a ban on food waste to landfill while speaking at Waste-Works today (23 March)...

The Rt Hon. John Gummer, Chairman of the UK’s Committee on Climate Change and sustainability consultancy Sancroft International, chaired the event’s keynote session and took part in a discussion on changing attitudes to food waste and sustainable procurement.

The thing is, as well as being the chairman of sustainability consultant Sancroft International, Lord Deben is the chairman of another company with its nose in the green trough: Valpak. Indeed Valpak has an arm specifically dedicated to waste disposal, including food waste:

Our Waste Management and Recycling Services provide a reliable UK-wide collection service to a variety of organisations including: retailers, wholesalers, distribution centres, manufacturers and local authorities.  We operate on a flexible basis allowing you to outsource as much or as little of your waste activities as you wish.

So you can't help feeling that a ban on food waste in landfill is going to be very good indeed for the bottom line of Deben Enterprises Inc.

Now a charitable soul might wonder whether this wasn't just Lord Deben speaking in his capacity as a businessman - nothing to do with his work at the CCC at all. Well you might, at a stretch, be able to swallow your doubts and accept such a case, were it not for this document from the website of Lord Deben's Committee on Climate Change.

Waste emissions. These emissions have been falling and are on track with our modelled trajectories to meet carbon budgets. However, further consideration should be given to banning specific types of biodegradable wastes, such as food waste, from landfill.

So yet again, we are forced to wonder whether such demands are made by the CCC for the benefit of the general public or that of the committee's senior members.

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Reader Comments (30)

In my naiive way, I would have thought that 'biodegradable waste' was ideal for landfill - but then I don't have Lord Deben's nose for a quick buck...

Mar 25, 2015 at 12:24 PM | Unregistered Commentersherlock1

'So yet again, we are forced to wonder whether such demands are made by the CCC for the benefit of the general public or that of the committee's senior members.'

Not really we can take that has a fact given his record of doing that very thing time and again .
This new 'hero ' of the greens is in reality an old school Tory , now how is that for irony.

Mar 25, 2015 at 12:24 PM | Unregistered Commenterknr

From my experience working in the past on landfill sites, designing & monitoring them, the biodegradable waste produces methane & CO2, among other stuff. Until recently Dutch companies used to "flare-off" the gas & also use it to provide power! Not a million miles away from burning waste to produce energy! Anyway that is irrelevasnt as far as Seldom Glummer is concerned on his steady stroll to the bank, where I dare say large amounts of taxpayers money will make its way!

Mar 25, 2015 at 12:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlan the Brit

He was certainly at pains not to waste that hamburger, wasn't he..?

Mar 25, 2015 at 12:35 PM | Unregistered Commentersherlock1

Once upon a time, food waste was sent for pig food, but a trougher must have complained.

Mar 25, 2015 at 12:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterBloke down the pub

A 'Night of the long Knives' to remove this threat to Democracy, aka Corporatist Fascism with its hand on the Political Tiller?

These big lumps have certainly risen to the top of the Political Cesspit.

Mar 25, 2015 at 12:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterNCC 1701E

I don't think Lord Deben is against food waste. He strikes me as being very much in favour of food waste — as long as it is processed by his company.
I have consulted Mrs J on this and she (wise woman) believes that Deben would be quite happy to collect this waste himself personally (for a fee of course) and oversee its safe disposal.
Probably in a landfill site.

Mar 25, 2015 at 12:54 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Ho hum, Another story about the lives of everyday crooks and conmen.

Mar 25, 2015 at 1:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterOswald Thake

And intermittent electricity for refrigeration will create a lot of food waste to be processed by his company...

Mar 25, 2015 at 2:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterCurt

Presumably he intends to feed the waste to his daughter.

Mar 25, 2015 at 3:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterIt doesn't add up...

Obviously a law against food waste will mean that no-one will ever waste food. All of us will have to eat up everything on our plates, vegetables included before we can have dessert. If food is still on the grocery store shelves after its sell-by date it'll just have to stay there until sold. This means that we will have to be compelled to purchase and consume rotten food on a regular basis. There will have to be an army of food-police to make sure Lord Deben's law is never violated. Ergot, botulism and other food-borne diseases will run rampant and reduce the world's population to that 500 million that green orthodoxy maintains is the maximum population that the planet can sustain. Win-win - and all through one simple law. Wow. Wow!!

Mar 25, 2015 at 3:20 PM | Unregistered Commenterchris moffatt

Do I sense an upcoming planning application for a digester plant from Gumboil Enterprises..?

Mar 25, 2015 at 3:40 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

As far as I'm concerned, Deben and his Committee fall well and truly within the definition of biodegradable waste.

Mar 25, 2015 at 3:40 PM | Registered CommenterSalopian

Render unto the state what is the state's. See Ambrose Bierce: 'Oil of Dog'.

Mar 25, 2015 at 4:10 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

...Why is Lord Deben against "food waste"?...

He should eat it all up! Doesn't he know there are starving children in Africa?

Oh... sorry, there aren't any more. Industrial growth has vanquished seasonal famines. Still, never mind. When the Greens get hold of power, famines will be back...

Mar 25, 2015 at 5:00 PM | Unregistered Commenterdodgy geezer

I am surprised that the UK does not have a food waste diversion program. it is called Green Bin here in Canada. Most everything from the kitchen including bones, grease and paper towels will go into it. It stinks in the summer and provides homes fro maggots and flies in the summer and freezes solid int eh winter so that it is impossible to get out of the bin. One suggestion for the local government to address the odour and maggots is to wrap the waste in newspaper and freeze it until collection day. For eh freezing, there are Youtube videos to show how to use origami techniques to fold newspapers to produce a bin liner that is supposed to allow the waste to be removed from the bin. it doesn't work.

It is quite polarizing here.Some people are adamantly in favour of it and regard it as quite convenient. other people have quite different opinions. The city government was absolutely enthusiastic about it. They thought that they could launch it and receive universal praise from the population. They were quite surprised by the negative reaction from a sizable proportion of the population. They had invested a large amount of money in to create a bin that was vermin proof. The raccoons figured out how to open the bin and within the first week. Indeed the raccoon technique is much more convenient than the use of the high tech engineered latch provided on the bin lid.

Mar 25, 2015 at 5:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterTAG

Deben is quite shameless. Who will rid us of this awful man ?

Mar 25, 2015 at 5:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Constable

We can't waste food, even if we try very, very hard. If we don't eat it, there are zillions of other creatures from small furry ones to fungi to bacteria all waiting to get their gnashers into what we leave. It's just as nature intended.

However, the new religion of Planet must find as many new sins as it can to beat us with. And its priests must use them to get rich.

Mar 25, 2015 at 5:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterAllan M

5:04 PM | TAG

The local authority demonstrating origasmi techniques on Youtube? I thought overpopulation was already supposed to be a problem.

Mar 25, 2015 at 5:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterAllan M

Last summer our Council (Powys) announced a new county-wide recycling scheme, with a colourful bilingual (recyclable - naturally) booklet. We were all going to get a red box for plastic and cans, an aqua box for glass, a blue box for paper and card, a green 'caddy' with biodegradable liners to go in the kitchen, with a green box to put the full liners into, and a black wheelie bin for other non-recyclable items.

The intention was that the 'recyclable' red, aqua, blue and green boxes would be emptied weekly and the black wheelie bins fortnightly. Unfortunately the scheme went over-budget big-time and the Council ran out of money to provide the new vehicles to deal with the revised collection arrangements from the smaller roads and lanes in the county.

The result; those properties in our area that are on the bigger roads/lanes get their 'recyclables' collected weekly and their black bins fortnightly on one day of the week, and the rest of us get all of our rubbish collected weekly on another day. We still have to put it all into bin-bags provided by the council, but we have to put them in the wheelie bins then, the bin-men have to take the bags out of the bins, because their smaller lorries can't empty wheelie bins.

You really could not make it up.

Mar 25, 2015 at 6:24 PM | Registered CommenterSalopian

Lord Debden certainly never wasted junk food, he made his daughter eat it.

Mar 25, 2015 at 6:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterPeter Stroud

If his Lordship would provide me with his home address, I will send - by express post - all my food scraps and leftovers to him. All the way from Australia. It's the least that I can do.

Someone above mentioned that "waste" human food used to be fed to pigs, but that is no longer allowed. I recall reading something along those lines elsewhere. Is it true?

Mar 25, 2015 at 7:58 PM | Registered Commenterjohanna

A MINE is a place where useful and saleable substances, such as processable minerals, can be found in sufficient quantity and concentratation and that is situated so as to allow development of or access to a bulk transportation system.

Rethink LANDFILL. Your grandchildren will thank you.

Mar 25, 2015 at 8:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterL Leeman

Insider trading tip - buy shares in wheelie bin manufacturers.

Mar 25, 2015 at 8:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterDave_G

Food is one of the classic examples of market success - we have effectively eradicated famine across the whole world. Note that this action also eradicated a huge number of famine-related jobs amongst the lefty liberals - those of us old enough to remember the 1960s will know what I mean.

Any attempt to interfere with the market will make it less efficient.In particular, any attempt to reduce 'food waste' from the undoubted optimum it is now at will almost certainly result in less food being produced. That means that the people in the world who are furthest from the food chain will start to go hungry.

And Bingo! We have the 'famine charity' jobs back again...

Mar 26, 2015 at 12:01 AM | Unregistered Commenterdodgy geezer

With Debam as head muck wallah no doubt, Job made for him!

Mar 26, 2015 at 12:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterDerek Buxton

On a different note, has anyone noted that as people become more and more paranoid about food safety and cleanliness, the amount of waste has to go up? In the past we could feed a lot of that food waste to animals, now that is no longer clean enough for pigs and has to go to the land fill.

Mar 27, 2015 at 6:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterAndrew Kerber

I think that food waste is a huge problems for the developing countries. Once on the landfill the food waste exude methane and poisonous substances which are extremely dangerous for the environment respectively for us too.So, it is our duty as society to reduce the amount of the food waste in every single household.

May 4, 2015 at 10:37 AM | Unregistered CommenterElizabeth Gilbert

And short electricity for fridge will make plenty of food waste to be prepared by his company...

May 26, 2015 at 11:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterCarley Martin

A long time ago, food waste was sent for outfit food, but a trougher must have reported.

Skip Hire Woking

May 26, 2015 at 11:55 AM | Unregistered CommenterCarley Martin

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