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Waste Stream: A South London Hospitality transformation

A hospitality estate in South London, committed to sustainability and the environment, becomes one of the most sustainable in London, prioritising waste minimisation and boosting recycling.


In 2012, after decades of disuse, a large hospitality estate in south London and the 42-acre site surrounding it began undergoing redevelopment to create a new community of homes, shops, cafes, and more. Recorra commenced work at the estate in January 2022, first servicing the buildings in the centre as part of phase one of the site’s waste management operations and gradually increasing the scope of services throughout the estate, concluding prior to the grand opening in October 2022.
The estate is committed to sustainability and truly cares about the environment. Recorra worked with the estate to make it one of the most sustainable in London, prioritising waste minimisation and boosting recycling.

Cutting-edge waste composition audits

Step one involved a comprehensive examination of the waste generated by the estate. Waste composition audits are one of the most effective tools in boosting participation in recycling. By conducting these audits, Recorra creates a clear picture of what is going into clients’ bins, pinpointing inefficiencies, identifying common waste items and recycling contamination, and empowering clients to make informed decisions about resource allocation.

What sets Recorra’s waste audits apart from others within the industry is the use of cutting-edge technology to automate the analysis process. Recorra’s proprietary Artificial Intelligence camera, installed in the Material Recovery Facility (MRF), allows Recorra to conduct waste analysis at a faster rate and with greater accuracy, enabling teams to deliver more comprehensive and frequent audits.

Food waste challenges, despite the presence of designated food bins

The audit revealed that almost 20% of the general waste consisted of food waste, despite the presence of designated food bins. This finding highlighted a significant issue with food waste management.
To address this challenge, Recorra visited each of the hospitality units within the estate to gain a deeper understanding of how the establishments handled food waste. This involved assessing their existing infrastructure, space constraints, and their comprehension of waste disposal processes.

Proactive, tailor-made solutions

Based on these assessments, Recorra provided tailored advice for each individual restaurant, along with containers which were designed to accommodate the specific space constraints of each restaurant and enable them to capture as much food waste as possible.

To ensure that the recommendations were effectively implemented, repeat visits were conducted approximately two weeks later. These follow-up visits were crucial for assessing the progress in waste management practices.

Result: significant reduction in food within the general waste stream, plus cost savings

The follow-up waste audits revealed that the percentage of food waste in the general waste stream had reduced from 20% to just 2%. This substantial reduction not only minimised the weight of the bins – reducing costs – but also ensured that food waste was being properly captured and diverted, leading to more efficient and sustainable waste management.