HL Deb 24 April 2001 vol 625 cc32-3WA
Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How waste food is disposed of by Ministry of Defence catering services; and whether any bases have contracts to supply makers of pig swill; [HL1319]

Whether any food waste from any of the Ministry of Defence's bases has been sold to or given to Mr Waugh, who has a pig farm at Heddon-on-the-Wall. [HL1320]

The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence (Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean)

The Ministry of Defence policy for procuring food and dealing with the waste food from catering services fully conforms with current national and EU regulations and is subject to inspection by local authority environmental health officers. Current regulations permit three methods of waste food disposal:

With local authority agreement, food waste may be macerated through kitchen garbage disposal units and drained away through the mains drainage system.

Contracts may be let with licensed environmental waste removal contractors, who subsequently dispose of the food waste by incineration or landfill.

Agreements may be made for the disposal of wet food waste to pig swill contractors.

The majority of MoD establishments dispose of food waste through macerator systems or contract disposal rather than pig swill contractors. Where agreements exist with makers of pig swill, the contractors must comply with strict legal restrictions applicable to the carriage and processing of food waste. Contractors are required to be licensed by local authorities and MoD establishments entering into agreements with contractors have a responsibility to ensure that the contractors hold appropriate licences in accordance with extant legislation.

Only one such agreement exists between the MoD and Mr Waugh. For over 25 years an unwritten agreement has existed between local Army commanders and the Waugh Brothers to dispose of a minimal amount of wet food waste on an occasional basis from the Whitburn Training Camp located between Sunderland and South Shields. The Waugh Brothers are licensed by the local authority to collect food waste for delivery to an authorised processor. The agreement was conducted at nil cost due to the very small volumes of waste involved.