The Winnow system allows chefs to use a tablet app to identify discarded food. Combined with data from an electronic scale, the smart meter tells them the value of what is going waste. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: A new pilot programme is helping a Deira hotel kitchen slash food wastage that costs the UAE $4 billion (Dh14.69 billion) every year.

Estimates show that 3.27 million tonnes of leftover food from homes, institutions, hotels and eateries are bulldozed into landfills every year in the UAE.

Enter Pullman Dubai Creek City Centre Hotel and Residences, where kitchen chefs now say they have slashed food wastage by an estimated 5.6 tonnes, or in food-preparation parlance, “14,000 plated meals” a year.

The pilot programme in cooperation with London-based Winnow Food Waste Management — now operating in 21 countries — has helped the hotel reduce food wastage by 70 per cent in the early days of operation.

Nishan Silva, Pullman general manager, said, “So far, the programme has witnessed a reduction in food waste by almost 70 per cent in the initial months. With such outstanding results, AccorHotels are now looking to roll out the programme gradually to all their UAE properties by 2018.”

Marc Zornes, Winnow co-founder, said in an earlier interview with Gulf News that his firm is working with hotel kitchens in Dubai to identify the amount of food waste they accrue daily.

The system allows chefs to use a “tablet app to identify the types of food they’re throwing away, and, combined with data collected from an electronic scale, the smart meter tells them the value of what’s being binned. The daily reports kitchens receive give an accurate insight into what is being wasted — and the value of that waste — that prompt chefs to improve production processes,” said Zornes.

“In hotels that prepare food in advance — breakfast buffets, Friday brunches, and banquets — we find between 7 per cent and 20 per cent of food is thrown away... and we’ve proven all over the world that we can help kitchens cut this waste in half,” he said.

“Whilst the business case is clear, there is also a significant environmental benefit in reducing waste. Winnow estimates its clients are saving 1,050 tonnes of waste annually from landfill or 4,500 tonnes of CO2 emissions prevented,” he said.

Speaking at the World Government Summit earlier this month, Dr Thani Ahmad Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment, called for new grass roots and political measures to answer global food wastage of $2.6 trillion a year.

“For governments to answer this composite challenge, they must foster social behaviour where responsible food consumption is the norm. This will go some way in saving the 1.3 billion tonnes of food that are being wasted every year, which represents a staggering 30 per cent of the world’s food produce,” said Al Zeyoudi at a summit dinner. “In the UAE alone, food worth Dh13 billion is wasted annually.”