The food waste will be taken via kerbside collections to Andigestion’s Bishop’s Cleeve site where it will help generate 31,000,000 kWh of clean, green and eco-friendly energy a year – enough to power 2,500 homes.
Mike Lowe, Operations Director at Andigestion, said: “We’re delighted that we will be working with the county council to recycle the county’s food waste; not only is anaerobic digestion a much more sustainable practice than sending it to landfill, but it has the added benefit of creating renewable energy for use in our homes.”
Food waste arriving at the Bishop’s Cleeve site is separated from any packaging (which is also recycled where possible), and under strict temperature and operational conditions, anaerobic bacteria start to ‘digest’ the waste. The bacteria give off methane which is collected and fed either to a generator to produce electricity which powers the Bishop’s Cleeve site, or to the Biomethane plant to produce biomethane (similar to natural gas) which is pumped into the local gas main.
The remaining ‘digestate’ – a mineral-rich, liquid biofertiliser – is then used by local farmers as a sustainable alternative to carbon-intensive chemical fertilisers. With its high values of nitrogen, phosphate and potassium, digestate plays a vital role in producing bigger, stronger crops and a better yield per acre.
The new contract with Gloucestershire County Council, which also offers Andigestion an additional two-year option, will start in October.
Cllr Nigel Moor, cabinet member for environment and planning at Gloucestershire County Council said: “Anaerobic digestion is the best way to treat Gloucestershire’s food waste – turning food scraps into green gas and electricity, and bio-fertiliser. It’s a crucial part of our work to manage Gloucestershire’s waste safely and cleanly, whilst cutting carbon emissions.”