Food waste collected in South Gloucestershire is set to be converted into valuable renewable energy and organic fertiliser at a single location, thanks to new recycling arrangements introduced this month.
All food waste collected from local residents is now being sent to a specialist anaerobic digestion plant in Oxfordshire where it will be broken down by bacteria into useful gases and organic materials.
The long-term arrangement with operator Agrivert, brokered by the council’s recycling partner SITA UK, will see approximately 6,000 tonnes of South Gloucestershire’s food waste processed each year – equivalent to the weight of rubbish carried in 600 full refuse lorries.
South Glos Councillor James Hunt, said:
“The residential food waste scheme is a key part of the council’s waste management policy, helping us to reduce landfill and recycle as much organic material as possible.”
“I’m delighted that so many residents have embraced the food waste arrangements and it’s good to know that the waste itself is also being converted into useful energy and organic fertilisers to be used by farmers.”
SITA UK manager Vicki May said:
“We have been impressed by the operation that Agrivert is running in Oxfordshire and feel that they are best placed to offer South Gloucestershire a reliable, cost effective and environmentally friendly solution to recycling food waste.”
Agrivert manager Harry Waters said:
“With 6,000 tonnes of food waste per annum we would expect to be able to capture 2,000,000 kWh of renewable energy enough to power over 400 family homes and produce organic fertiliser which will be used by farmers to grow food on over 700 acres of land.”
“Moreover, we capture over nearly a million cubic metres of methane that would have otherwise been released to the atmosphere. Methane is 23 times as potent a green house gas as carbon dioxide so the environmental benefit cannot be understated”
Source: South Gloucestershire Council