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16 Business Footprint winter 2010 news focusTechnology can help reduce the overall carbon footprint even more. Via route planners and satellite navigation, the UWS can 'report' to a central control, which automatically plans the collection vehicle's journey for optimum efficiency."If the aim of councils - working with developers - is to reduce the visual impact of household bins, reduce disturbance and smells, reduce collection costs, tackle recycling targets, and reduce carbon footprint impact, then a UWS is an excellent solution," says Monk.Yallops Yard is a mixed development in the east end of London, comprising 260 new homes and a community centre. The development includes social housing, rented, shared and private accommodation with dwellings.The council, Tower Hamlets, specified underground bins with the specific aim of massively reducing the visual impact of household bins, reducing disturbance and the chance of vandalism. Also high on the council's list of objectives was the long-term reduction of collection costs. The waste is stored in a three cubic metre storage container hidden underneath a small OTTO waste receptacle.In contrast to the busy urban scene in Tower Hamlets, South Oxfordshire District Council changed a number of its old surface igloo-type glass recycling containers for OTTO's underground glass banks. The glass will usually break whilst falling into the underground container; this makes disposal much quieter and provides better compaction rates, reducing the frequency of collection.More recently Bedford Borough Council faced a problem when recycling sites started to be 'over-used' - residents were willing to bring their materials but there wasn't the capacity for it all to make it into bins. The result was untidy and messy sites.Natasha Ingram, Waste Services Manager at the council, explained that in order for the problem to be solved, some of the recycle materials would have to go into larger containers and the council explored the possibility of using an underground system."We decided it was the way forward and our first unit - at a busy shopping centre on the edge of Bedford - allowed for three containers for glass and one for newspaper and magazines."The site had traditionally suffered from overuse - meaning the bins became full and required frequent emptying. The main reason for installing the underground system was to provide more capacity for residents to recycle," she explained.OTTO first established itself in the UK 20 years ago, introducing waste management and recycling solutions successfully developed across mainland Europe.The company pioneered the development of the 'wheeled' bin system in the 80s and anticipated trends in recycling and waste collection that have shaped product development and the introduction of radical approaches.More information about OTTO (UK) products and services is available from or by telephoning 01530 27 79 00.PHotos 01 and 02 show OTTo's underground waste systems winter 2010 Business Footprint 17News focusWith an aging population, vast amounts of edible retail food products going to landfill and a sharp increase in obesity rates-through higher individual food consumption of processed foods, (with all of their resulting health issues), it is no wonder that food security in the UK represents a very real long term threat to the stability of our economy. When going out to client meetings, business presentations or even networking events, where catering may be provided, it is worth giving a thought to the quality, freshness and seasonality of the produce and in particular where it is sourced.You may at some stage have organised business catering for many times have you thrown away a turned up sandwich, juggled with limp quiche or even worse not bothered to try anything from the uninviting selections thrown together in front of you? Is price the only consideration or do you weigh up other critical factors in making sure that your clients, guests or colleagues feel replete and satisfied at the end of what is normally a busy working lunch period so how do you know what you are going to receive is going to be any good? Given the demands for greater transparency and environmental responsibilities to reducing waste and the carbon foot print, how do you know that the company supplying you will have the right approach to social, corporate and community responsibilities? If you or one of your colleagues is responsible for the purchasing of catering services delivered to your workplace or you want to influence the decision making process with the client catering that you are experiencing, then here are a few things to consider that will not only help the event go smoothly, but ensure that you have total peace of mind.Policies & Procedures:Does the supplier publish and make available their working practices, do they actively promote healthier eating and work with local partners to reduce food miles. Do they have robust recycling schemes and a commitment to reducing waste to landfill?Health & SafetyIs your supplier HACCP accredited or registered with the local EHO, do they follow stringent health & safety procedures e.g. does your food arrive in sign-written refrigerated vehicles? Are the drivers knowledgeable about the company and it's products, are they proud to wear a company logo? Have you inspected their premises to ensure that foods are produced within a safe hygienic environment and prepared by qualified chefs who care about what they do?Ease of OrderingHow easy is it to place your order, is the phone or fax always busy, can you order directly on line for example? Is the service provided, friendly, polite and efficient, do you receive confirmation that your requirements can be met and are you always offered flexibility and choice? Quality, Presentation & Value for MoneyAre the foods delivered freshly made and prepared from real ingredients and not the normal selection frozen and fried products purchased from large national wholesalers? Does the food arrive properly presented and wrapped, with clear labelling and information about contents? If ordering on a regular basis are you offered variety and can you mix and match from the available menus.When choosing a new catering supplier-make sure you:ÎÎInspect premisesÎÎMeet staff and management teams... do they understand you and your business needsÎÎAsk to look at health and safety manuals and certificatesÎÎMake sure they have an environmental policy and are acting upon itÎÎTry samples and ask for evidence of credentialsÎÎAsk for references and recommendationsÎÎEnsure that the caterer is flexible ÎÎSet up a trading accountÎÎEnjoy the food!ÎÎGive FeedbackIt appears that changes on the world stage and specifically those that are making us look at the social and more traditional values around the food that we eat are returning us to a simpler view on fresh ingredients, healthier eating, and more consideration for where our produce comes from and where it ends up.For more information on please visit the environment section of our website at, alternatively you can call us on 01707331751. Food waste... not just a load of rubbish