Ed Miliband opens AD plant for commercial food waste

Labour leader Ed Miliband officially opened an industrial-scale anaerobic digestion (AD) plant for food waste at PDM Group's headquarters in Doncaster today (September 9).

The facility marks the first of a series of ReFood plants that PDM Group intends to build across the UK for foodchain by-products. PDM developed the £12m facility in partnership with SARIA Bio-industries, which operates a network of similar plants across Europe.

PDM claims the joint venture has resulted in a more efficient and industrial-scale AD process for the UK market. The facility will handle 45,000 tonnes of food waste produced by local retailers, restaurants, food manufacturers and businesses.

It will generate 2.8MW/h of electricity and heat – enough to power around 5,000 homes, while the 40,000 tonnes of nutrient-rich fertiliser produced by the plant will be used by farmers across South Yorkshire.

Today’s ceremony was attended by a number of key stakeholders from the local area and the plant was formally opened by the Rt Hon Ed Miliband MP, who tipped the first bin of food waste into the depackaging unit.

Opening the plant, Ed Miliband said: “It’s fantastic that I’m able to open a state-of-the-art renewable-energy venture right here in Doncaster. The ReFood plant demonstrates the huge potential that exists for turning food and other household waste into renewable energy, which can then be used to heat and power thousands of homes.”

PDM’s operations director, Paul Morris, commented: “We’re delighted to have opened our first ReFood plant. This service complements PDM’s existing offering to the food chain and means that we can deliver a variety of localised, secure and sustainable solutions for food waste.

Maxine Perella

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