More than 90 tonnes of food waste have been successfully processed into animal feed as part of a first trial of the LIFE F4F pilot unit, situated in the territory of the municipality of Heraklion. During the period of testing, the unit fully met the requirements set by the different experts of the project consortium. It was operated daily, with about one tonne of food residues processed each day.

The main aim of the LIFE F4F (Food for Feed: An Innovative Process for Transforming Hotels' Food Wastes into Animal Feed) project is to develop a pilot scale unit to evaluate an innovative, simple technology and low emissions process that allows the safe transformation of source separated food waste, mainly from hotels, into animal feed, using an altered solar drying process. The pilot unit that will be developed and operated in the framework of the project is expected to produce 40 to 50 tonnes of feed per year.

For that and as a first step in the process, a separate collection scheme, based on a source separating system, for hotels’ food waste in touristic area of Crete has been designed and will be evaluated. Hotels are discarding food waste in dedicated bins which are then collected by special refrigerated cars, to ensure their safe transport to the solar drying pilot plant. The central element of the F4F process is the pasteurization of food waste through a modified and enhanced solar drying process, preceded by hand scraping and shredding. It is expected that two and a half to three tonnes of food waste will produce one tonne of feed that can be used by the relevant animal breeding and pet industry.

The pilot unit is part of the Cyclical Environment Park of the Municipality of Heraklion and of the National Social Insurance Institute. This park includes different installations used by the Municipality: a bio-drying unit for wastes, a separation centre of recyclable materials, a waste transfer station, a centre for bulky wastes and a station for the garbage trucks and other machinery. The park is also intended to be open to public and use as a leisure area.