NEARLY 100 businesses in Oxford have signed up to a trial food waste collection service.

The city-wide trial, funded by the not for profit organisation ReMade South East, helps to divert waste away from landfill into renewable energy and fertiliser products.

Oxford City Council is offering the free trial for three months to 88 businesses. They then can choose to transfer to the council’s chargeable scheme.

Paul Lowe, operations director at Darby’s Solicitors, said: “We are committed to constantly challenging our operational and ancillary activities in order to reduce the firm’s impact on the environment.

“Even in an office environment it is easy to generate quite a lot of food waste through teabags, apple cores and the like.

“The trial has helped us find the solution that works for our building and our people, so we can recycle more.”

The £55,000 grant was awarded to the city council and Oxfordshire County Council via Oxfordshire Waste Partnership.

Alison Brown, of Fishers Restaurant in St Clement’s, said: “We have found the trial very useful and it has improved the way we all think about being green.

“We needed to look at how we managed waste in the kitchen to better effect. We now recycle more and with support from the city council everything is working well.”

The food waste is taken to Cassington, near Witney, where it is treated by a process know as anaerobic digestion which involves composting it without oxygen.

This process creates methane gas, which is captured and converted into renewable energy, generating enough electricity to power over 4,000 homes.

City councillor John Tanner, board member for a Cleaner, Greener Oxford, said: “Since the trial started in November last year, the city council has collected 270 tonnes of food waste for re-processing which is fantastic news.”

Businesses wanting to get involved can visit traderecycling