First commercial north east food waste facility

By Rod Addy contact

- Last updated on GMT

The Emerald Biogas AD plant can currently process 50,000t of food waste from the north east of England
The Emerald Biogas AD plant can currently process 50,000t of food waste from the north east of England

Related tags: Anaerobic digestion

The first commercial food waste facility in the north east of England, worth £8M, has opened in County Durham, with planning permission to quadruple in size if necessary.

The Emerald Biogas anaerobic digestion (AD) plant officially opened last week at the Newton Aycliffe Industrial Estate. It is expected to generate enough energy to power 2,000 homes every year by burning biogas given off by the waste to generate 1.56Mw of electricity an hour.

Phase one of the plant has created four new jobs and enables it to process 50,000t of the region’s food waste, including card, plastics and other waste from fast food outlets, businesses and schools. It will deal with waste from businesses from Northumberland to York and across to Cumbria.

Food manufacturing waste streams

Its heavy-duty depackaging process can handle more difficult waste from supermarkets, which is often triple-packed, and food manufacturing waste streams. Residual materials are then sent to local recycling operations.

In addition to being able to generate power, the plant can also produce a digestate, which can be spread on to local farmland as an alternative to chemically manufactured fertiliser.

Funding for the project was provided through the Rural Development Programme for England, which in turn is jointly funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the EU.

‘One of a kind’

Antony Warren, director, Emerald Biogas, called it a “one of a kind facility in the north east” and “the first in the region to begin operating”.

“We are now in a position to accept and process unwanted commercial food waste and employ the latest AD technology to create a valued commodity that will be extremely beneficial to the local business and farming community.”

Formed in 2009, Emerald Biogas is owned by three partners: Antony and Adam Warren, who also own food and animal byproducts recycling business John Warren ABP, and Ian Bainbridge. Bainbridge farming, land and resource management firm Agricore.

John Warren ABP manages collections for Emerald Biogas.

Related topics: Supply Chain

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