Organic waste business Agrivert has begun a 15-year contract with Bridgend and Swansea councils, after opening an anaerobic digestion (AD) facility in Bridgend last year. As part of the contract – which started on 3 August 2017 – Agrivert will recycle about 18,000 tonnes of food waste expected to be collected from Bridgend and Swansea residents each year. The waste will be transported by local haulier Mansel Davies & Son to Agrivert’s South Wales AD facility at Parc Stormy in Bridgend. The facility already provides food recycling services for Ceredigion, Powys and Pembrokeshire councils and local businesses. According to Agrivert, its South Wales AD plant processes 48,000 tonnes of food and liquid wastes each year, generating 3MW of renewable electricity – enough energy to power 5,900 homes. In addition to green power, Agrivert’s process also generates renewable heat and Digestate. Surplus heat Some of the renewable heat produced will be used to heat the pasteurisers and digesters, surplus heat is supplied to neighbouring business, Cenin Renewables, for its cement production process. Digestate produced at the plant is used as an organic fertliser on 3,000 acres of local arable land. Agrivert said its plan is for all of the digestate to be used within an 11 mile radius of the facility, “directly benefiting local farming businesses”. According to Agrivert, its South Wales AD plant is estimated to have the equivalent environmental benefit of taking 87,000 cars off the road annually. Alexander Maddan, Agrivert’s chief executive said: “We look forward to working closely with Bridgend and Swansea council and residents alike to increase their food capture rates and support them in meeting future recycling targets.” Environmentally-friendly Councillor Hywel Williams, Bridgend county borough council’s deputy leader said: “It’s a huge plus that our food waste is now going to be processed within the county borough itself as it’s certainly the most environmentally-friendly option for us. “It has also been cost effective to work in collaboration with Swansea council on the procurement of this new contract, and I would also like to acknowledge the support we have received from Welsh Government during this process.” Mark Thomas, cabinet member for environmental services at Swansea council added: “This is great news for the people of Swansea because this is the greenest-possible approach to disposing of their weekly food-waste collections. “In Swansea our recycling rates are already at 63 per cent and this latest initiative will offer further reassurance to residents that their food waste is being disposed of thoughtfully.” In 2009, the Welsh Government announced an ambitious food recycling programme whereby solutions were sought to recycle all of Wales’ household food waste, driving Wales towards zero waste to landfill. And, the Welsh Government has also set local authorities the target of achieving 70% recycling by 2025. Wales and food waste Last week (16 August) Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths announced ambitious plans to halve food waste in Wales by 2025. The minister said: “Wales leads the way in the UK when it comes to recycling and we are well on the way to achieving our 70 per cent target by 2024/25. “To reach our target we need to encourage householders to recycle food waste and I welcome the new contract and commitment by Swansea and Bridgend councils to increasing food waste recycling.”
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