Recycling food waste in Holsworthy

Warning – this could put you off your breakfast!

Councillor’s and officers from Torridge Council met for a tour of the food waste recycling facilities at Andigestion’s state of the art food recycling plant in Holsworthy last week. The visit was attended by leader of the Council Jane Whittaker, Deputy Leader David Hurley and Lead Member for Waste and Recycling Mervyn Langmead.

All food waste collected across the district is now recycled at the plant contributing to the Councils dramatic reduction in waste ending up in landfill which has seen overall recycling figure soar since the remodelled services were introduced in June of this year. Each month around 190-220 tonnes of food waste is now taken to the plant and in combination with other sources of recycling the overall rate of recycling in the Torridge has improved from around 41% last year to 57% in recent months. The consequent reduction in waste going to landfill is around 90 tonnes per week, or 9 lorry loads.

Andigestion’s recycling plant at Holsworthy recycles approximately 76,000 tonnes of the South West’s food waste each year. Through its anaerobic digestion process, the plant contributes clean, green and eco-friendly energy to around 10,000 local homes by producing electricity which is fed back into the national grid. The “digestate” by-product of the process – a mineral-rich, liquid fertiliser – is used by local farmers as a sustainable alternative to carbon-intensive chemical fertilisers.  Finally, to ensure that surplus heat produced by the electricity generation does not go to waste, it is used to dry woodchip which is then sold to commercial and domestic customers as fuel for large-scale biomass boilers.

Food waste

Leader of Torridge Council – Councillor Jane Whittaker said:

“One of the main aims of the remodelled waste collection services introduced in Torridge was to increase the overall level of recycling across the district and reduce the environmental impact of waste simply going to landfill. Our partnership with Andigestion not only contributes enormously to this goal but also provides clean green energy to our residents and the bonus of an environmentally sound source of fertiliser for our important farming sector.”

Lead Member for Waste and Recycling at Torridge – Councillor Mervyn Langmead said:

“The visit to Andigestion’s plant was very inspiring and to see first-hand how our food waste is recycled was both interesting and informative. We are very pleased to be working with Andigestion to reduce our carbon footprint across the district and also contributing to sustainable energy and useful by-products that helps us to significantly reduce the environmental impact of the waste generated in Torridge. However I’m also mindful that the success to date is also thanks to the efforts of our residents and they should also be congratulated for embracing the new schemes and boosting our recycling rates to new levels.”

Mike Lowe – Operations Director at Andigestion Ltd said:

“We were very pleased to host members from Torridge District Council at the Hoslworthy Biogas plant. We place great importance on showing the elected members and officers the results, in terms of renewable energy, of all the hard work their staff and residents put into collecting food waste separately.

“Not all councils in Devon do this so it is important that where councils have chosen to adopt this process, we give them as much access and information as possible to support their decision.”

1 Comment

  • Tubby1 says:

    Why does everyone think that the food waste has been going to landfill? Ever since the green garden waste service was introduced 7 years ago in the Torridge area people were encouraged to put the food waste in with it. That is why the purpose built site at Deepmoor IVC was built, to comply with the animal by product regulations. So food and green waste can be treated and turned into compost.

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