The north east’s first commercial food waste anaerobic digestion (AD) plant, the 8 million pound, state-of-the-art facility operated by Emerald Biogas, hosted a VIP launch event with renowned broadcaster and writer Janet Street-Porter and over 100 invited guests from local authorities and national businesses last week to celebrate the launch of the biogas facility in County Durham.
The facility based at Newton Aycliffe Industrial Estate, will serve the north east’s need to recycle food waste and create renewable energy, processing 50,000 tons of leftover food from businesses across the region, including Vale of Mowbray, Greencore and SK Chilled Foods.
“This facility will bring a range of benefits to the north east community, including reducing the need to send food waste to landfill, and the creation of green energy and fertilizer," said Street-Porter in the keynote address. "In other regions across the country, local authorities already collect food waste from residential areas, which is food for thought indeed.”
“Dealing with waste properly not only benefits the environment but will also help create jobs and build a stronger economy," said Waste Minister Dan Rogerson. "Our £2million grant has helped develop this plant which will treat food waste and recycle valuable nutrients back to the land.”
As part of the official proceedings, guests were treated to a two-course lunch, with food sourced from local suppliers. Then were able to see the AD process in action during a tour of the facility, where the leftovers from the event were processed, generating both energy and fertilizer.
“The opening of the food waste plant builds on the success and experience of the team, which was created by the partnership of directors from regional businesses John Warren ABP and Agricore," said Adam Warren, Director at Emerald Biogas. “Through this investment we will contribute a continued source of renewable energy to local businesses, while also providing a sustainable solution for dealing with food waste which traditionally goes to landfill."
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