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Waste and Recycling (2017)

Request

  1. The amount of waste generated each year (by weight), 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
    (If possible please provide figures on how much of this was recyclable plastics)
  2. The recycling rate each year (as percentage of waste created): 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016.
    (If possible please provide figures on how much of this was recyclable plastics)
  3. The amount of disposable coffee cups a. purchased by all cafe outlets in the house, and (if possible), b. used/disposed of each year 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
  4. The quantity of water and soft drinks in plastic bottles purchased by all cafe outlets in the house, each year 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 (if this is too vague please concentrate on water in plastic bottles and Coca Cola bottles)

 

Response

  1. The amount of waste generated each year (by weight), 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 (if possible please provide figures on how much of this was recyclable plastics)
    and
  2. The recycling rate each year (as percentage of waste created): 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 (if possible please provide figures on how much of this was recyclable plastics)
    This information is held by the House of Commons. Please note that the House of Commons and House of Lords are separate public authorities in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA). However, most of the waste disposal and recycling activity is conducted on a bi-cameral basis, and therefore our response covers both Houses. We are unable to provide a breakdown by House.
    Please also note, separate figures for plastics were captured up to and including 2011. From 2012 onwards, plastics were then captured as part of a dry mixed recycling waste stream. Therefore we only hold figures for 2010 and 2011 specifically for plastics.
    Waste disposal and recycling activity
  3. The amount of disposable coffee cups a. purchased by all cafe outlets in the house, and (if possible), b. used/disposed of each year 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
    Some information is held by the House of Commons.
    Details of the amount of disposable coffee cups purchased by House of Commons catering outlets.
    You also asked for the amount of disposable coffee cups that have been used or disposed of each year. The House of Commons does not record consumption data for disposable coffee cups and therefore this information is not held.
    We do hold data on the amount of hot drinks sold in House of Commons catering venues. However, this information would not provide an accurate figure of the number of disposable coffee cups that have been used or disposed of. For example, providing data on hot drinks sales would not account for damaged cups, or for occasions where staff have taken multiple cups per hot drink, or have used them for purposes other than hot drinks. We can assume that the majority of the purchased cups, as detailed in the table above, will have been used or disposed of, but we cannot be certain this is the case.
  4. The quantity of water and soft drinks in plastic bottles purchased by all cafe outlets in the house, each year 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 (if this is too vague please concentrate on water in plastic bottles and Coca Cola bottles)
    This information is held by the House of Commons.
    Details of the number of water and soft drinks in plastic bottles purchased from House of Commons catering outlets.


It may be helpful to know that the House of Commons Catering Service produces on average less than 3% food waste. This is measured as the cost of prepared food wasted against the amount of food sales. This is below the national average for the catering industry of 5%. All catering food waste which is segregated within the kitchens and food preparation areas is either recovered or recycled and is not sent to landfill.

The Sustainable Restaurant Association has rated the House of Commons as a good practice organisation in respect of food waste. We take various measures to monitor and reduce the amount of food waste from catering outlets. There are a number of ways that we are able to help minimise our food wastage:
• We have menu plans and cycles which enable orders to be thought out in advance.
• We make the vast majority of dishes fresh in-house. This enables us to improvise if products need to be used up and we can use short life products in smoothies, soups and salads etc.
• Stock is regularly counted and order volumes are considerate of stock-in-hand.
• Dates are checked regularly on ambient food products and any short life products are issued to the kitchens and used up.
• For many of the high volume protein items, these are ordered by unit rather than weight which makes portion control more accurate and less prone to over ordering.
• Venue orders are checked by a purchasing team for accuracy to ensure that orders and volumes are accurate and in line with historic figures.
• Our kitchens make salad items in-house meaning they are able to cook off and utilise any surplus protein products effectively.
• Stock is always rotated using first in first out principles.
• We utilise various smart storage methods and materials to help prevent premature spoilage.
• Some products are frozen if not used on the day.
• Products which show high levels of wastage are changed, so for example some high frequency/low volume lines are now frozen which enables portion control.
• Any hot food that we have which is reusable is both transferred immediately where it can be used or blast chilled within food safety requirements and used the following day.

Further information about how we recycle waste is publicly available on the parliamentary website.