First 'viable' compact AD solution targets local food waste ops

Food chain suppliers could benefit from what is being hailed as the UK's first commercial small scale anaerobic digestion (AD) system for localised food waste treatment.

The new compact process is being targeted at retailers, food manufacturers and catering providers as well as waste contractors and in-house local authority waste management operations.

The modular solution, which creates power, heat and biofertiliser, has been developed by Burdens and is the first digester of its size to be Animal By Products Regulations (ABPR) compliant. It also meets PAS 100 and 110 standards.

The system has been extensively trialled as part of a demonstator project in Wales, which is accepting waste from Carmarthenshire Council and HRH Prince Charles' estate. Each unit can handle between 3,000 and 5,000 tonnes of food waste per year.

Burdens says its system has been designed to speed up the adoption of AD food waste treatment plants in the UK through making them small scale and commercially viable.

The company's head of environmental projects Will Kirkman said: "There are a lot of misconceptions about the viability and benefits of reducing the size of AD plants to such a small scale.

"To date this has held back this sector and arguably the recycling of food waste in the UK as larger planned facilities have often been stifled by breakdowns in contract negotiations, the inability to secure reliable feedstocks and planning requirements."

He added that the size of the digester makes it ideal for installing on existing permitted sites such as civic amenity and waste transfer sites, food retail distribution centres and food production premises.

Maxine Perella


anaerobic digestion | Food waste


Waste & resource management
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