NEC to send 120 tonnes of food waste to new Birmingham AD plant

Birmingham's National Exhibition Centre (NEC) has become one of the first local businesses to send its food waste to Severn Trent Green Power's £13 million anaerobic digestion (AD) plant.

The NEC expects to send 120 tonnes of food waste to Coleshill, which is only four miles away, annually. 

The plant, which Severn Trent started constructing last year, will prevent 8,000 tonnes of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere by diverting food waste from landfill.

Severn Trent expects the plant to generate around 17,000 MWh of electricity annually, enough to power the whole of Coleshill sewage treatment works. Therefore the site will be totally self-sufficient for its electricity needs.

“Whether it’s a sandwich shop or a fast food outlet – the leftovers from the NEC site, which includes both the NEC venue and Genting Arena, will be powering sewage treatment at Coleshill,” said Severn Trent Green Power’s AD expert Chris Jellett.

Zero waste to landfill

NEC’s director of operations Brian Pell said: “Sustainability is at the heart of everything we do and we are continually looking for new ways to make our venue more environmentally friendly.

“Thanks to our on-site Waste Pre-Treatment Centre, we send zero waste to landfill and are committed to ensuring that any waste that travels off site for further processing never travels more than 30 miles – this helps to save CO₂ emission during travel and keeps our costs down too.”

Waste Sector boost

This is not the first AD announcement to come from Britain’s second largest city in recent months. In January Birmingham Airport – the UK’s third largest – announced it had managed to divert more than 70 tonnes of food waste to an anaerobic digestion plant, in partnership with outsourcing company MITIE.

The UK’s waste sector received a major funding boost this week when the Green Investment Bank announced a ‘landmark’ £30m investment in a new £60m advanced-technology Waste to Energy plant in Hertfordshire.

Funding sustainability at Sustainability Live 2015

The NEC is also the location of this year’s Sustainability Live. The Green Investment Bank’s head of sustainable finance Gavin Templeton will feature among an expert panel discussing funding sustainability at our brand new high-level Conference at Sustainability Live 2015 in April. The panel will explore how to get access to funding and the types of funding available – public and private.

Find out more and register to attend the Sustainability Live 2015 Conference for free here.

Lucinda Dann

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