Scottish Prison Service Food Waste Dewatering Refurb’ & Retrofit


The Scottish Prison Service as the English and Welsh Prison Service have been at the forefront of recycling for longer than many would know or perhaps expect. Visit the sites and the waste management compounds are stacked with baled cardboard, neatly wrapped bales of shredded confidential paper, baled linen and clothes, pallet boxes full of WEEE and fluorescent tubes and diligently sorted plastics. The service have been recycling food wastes for much longer than many, they were also one of the first establishments in the UK, to compost food wastes on site. Many of the sites invested long ago in different versions of food waste dewatering equipment, the sites realising of the benefit of reducing food waste volumes, to aid a reduction in the cost of disposal.



Sites with 600 inmates and a similar number of staff tend to generate their fair share of food wastes, with 3 meals per day 7 days a week, the service do their very best to minimise waste through portion control and buying practices, but leftovers are inevitable from a menu system that has to accommodate the diverse population and provide choice. These large volumes of food waste and 5 years of continual use, take their toll on the existing food waste dewatering equipment, with the systems becoming outdated, less reliable and labour intensive, the SPS looked for cost effective newer alternatives to the equipment problem.


Barlinnie sought Tidy Planets expertise, who provided a novel alternative to the costly “remove and renew” option. The Macclesfield Food Waste Experts proposed instead a more cost effective refurbishment and upgrade of the existing equipment, saving the SPS several thousand pounds but incorporating a full mechanical overhall of the macerating section and a bespoke installation into the bench of the very latest Dehydra food waste dewatering system. Fitted with new plumbing, combined electrical controls, taps and rinser, the unit was shipped back to Barlinnie to start its second life in February this year.

The new Dehydra food waste dewatering system installed makes the refurbished SPS Barlinnie bench a much less labour intensive operation, no longer needing to be stripped manually and cleaned after each use, the new Dehydra with its self clean facility has a greatly reduced labour input compared with the unit it replaced. The dewatering system also incorporates an infra red level sensor which automatically shuts the system down when the food waste bins approach full, preventing unwanted spillages. The existing FWD, a huge 4.4kw system, benefitted from a new motor, rotor and cutting assembly as part of the refurbishment, with the FWD capable of processing up to 900kgs of food waste per hour, this bespoke refurbishment has created the highest capacity bench unit available, for much less capital outlay than a direct new replacement, an ideal alternative for cash tight public sector organisations.