GPS de­vices to tackle food waste prob­lem

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - NATION - By HOU LIQIANG in Wuhan

Food waste col­lec­tion trucks and trash cans will be out­fit­ted with a com­put­er­ized weigh­ing and GPS de­vice in Wuhan to deal with the prob­lem of “gut­ter oil”, il­le­gally re­cy­cled cook­ing oil.

Op­er­a­tions will start on Dec 1 when a reg­u­la­tion that re­quires in­te­grated col­lec­tion and pro­cess­ing of kitchen waste takes ef­fect in the Hubei cap­i­tal.

All waste, in­clud­ing food rem­nants, scrap ma­te­ri­als and ed­i­ble oil wastes from food and bev­er­age fa­cil­i­ties, can­teens and fac­to­ries in­volved in food pro­duc­tion and pro­cess­ing will be mon­i­tored by the in­te­grated sys­tem, ac­cord­ing to the reg­u­la­tion.

The reg­u­la­tion also de­fines ed­i­ble oil waste as a mix­ture of wa­ter and oil re­trieved from kitchen ven­ti­la­tors, oil­wa­ter sep­a­ra­tors or sewage fa­cil­i­ties.

“Com­pa­nies will be set up in each (city) dis­trict for col­lec­tion and trans­port,” said Chen Jian, di­rec­tor of con­struc­tion for the Wuhan Ur­ban Man­age­ment Bureau.

He said com­pa­nies or in­di­vid­u­als who are not af­fil­i­ated with the des­ig­nated com­pa­nies will be sub­ject to fines.

Ac­cord­ing to the pro­posal for the pro­ject, 621 ve­hi­cles

195 to be used for ed­i­ble oil waste and 25,800 garbage cans, which food fa­cil­i­ties are re­quired to use, will be pre­pared as part of the col­lec­tion.

To guar­an­tee no food waste is col­lected to make gut­ter oil, Chen said, a com­put­er­ized sys­tem that records GPS and weight data will be in­stalled on the col­lec­tion trucks, as well as garbage cans or oil cans of oil-wa­ter sep­a­ra­tors.

“We can clearly know what the ve­hi­cles are do­ing, how much food waste is loaded or uploaded, and can track the ve­hi­cles with a click of a mouse in the of­fice,” he said.

Us­ing the de­vices, the weight of the food waste will be recorded and kept for at least two years by the pro­ducer, col­lec­tor and trans­porter and pro­ces­sor of the food waste, which is re­quired by the reg­u­la­tion.

“If the weight of the food waste col­lected from a restau­rant de­creases sharply, we will in­ves­ti­gate where the food waste goes,” Chen said.

Ac­cord­ing to the city plan, five waste treat­ment plants with a daily ca­pac­ity of pro­cess­ing 200 met­ric tons of food waste will be built and re­spon­si­ble for mak­ing meth­ane and mak­ing com­post from the residue.

The daily kitchen waste out­put is 1,100 tons, 55 per­cent of that of Bei­jing.

The in­te­grated sys­tem will be started in restau­rants larger than 80 square me­ters in the cen­tral ar­eas and is ex­pected to cover 60 per­cent of the food waste by the end of 2015, Chen said.

The in­te­grated col­lec­tion and pro­cess­ing will also re­duce pol­lu­tion from the food waste to the abun­dant wa­ter re­sources, said Yu Xiao, vice- pres­i­dent of Wuhan En­vi­ron­ment San­i­ta­tion Science Re­search In­sti­tute.

“The fa­mous cook­ing cul­ture in Wuhan re­sults in a large amount of food waste, which puts the large num­ber of lakes and rivers in the city un­der pol­lu­tion risk, as food waste usu­ally will be de­serted af­ter the oil is ex­tracted be­fore the in­te­grated col­lec­tion and pro­cess­ing,” he said.

PRO­VIDED TO CHINA DAILY

Em­ploy­ees of a food waste col­lec­tion com­pany in Wuhan, Hubei prov­ince, re­trieve ed­i­ble oil waste from a restau­rant. Food waste col­lec­tion trucks and trash cans will be equipped with GPS de­vices in the city to deal with the “gut­ter oil” prob­lem.

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