Food macerators in commercial kitchens will be banned in England and Wales from 2018. They are already outlawed in Scotland (2016) and Northern Ireland (2017).
Food waste disposal units were originally seen as a quick way to dispose of food which would otherwise go to landfill, but today food recycling is increasingly the norm in both commercial and domestic kitchens. Besides, putting food down the drains, along with fat, oil and grease (FOG), contributes to a staggering 200,000 sewer blockages and floods across the country each year. These cost utility companies (and ultimately the consumer) £15 million per annum, with even more being spent via private drainage companies.
Other disadvantages of food going down the drains are rodent infestations, odours and environmental pollution, not to mention that macerators are expensive to repair, and use more electricity and water than recycling.
Banning macerators and diverting food waste away from landfill is a small but important step towards cleaning up the UK.