Food waste collected by Ceredigion, Powys and Pembrokeshire councils is to be treated at a new facility in south Wales.
The £14 million anaerobic digestion (AD) plant, the largest in Wales, was officially opened on Friday, 2 Dec by Bridgend AM Carwyn Jones. Developed by Agrivert, one of the UK’s leading AD specialists, it takes food waste from Welsh homes and businesses and converts it into renewable energy.
Located at Parc Stormy near Bridgend, it is the company’s first foothold into Wales and is set to process around 48,000 tonnes of organic waste per year, generating 3MW of electricity – enough to supply over 5,900 homes. The facility also produces valuable bio-fertiliser that can displace fossil fuel derived fertilisers on over 3,000 acres of local farm land.
Agrivert is well respected within the AD and waste management industry and is widely regarded as the market leader in food waste recycling. Working with 36 local authorities in the UK, five of these are in the top ten when it comes to recycling performance.
The new Welsh Agrivert plant already provides food recycling services for local businesses as well as for Ceredigion, Powys and Pembrokeshire councils. It hopes to attract waste from other local authorities and businesses including food manufacturers and producers and waste collection companies.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Agrivert chief executive Alexander Maddan, said: “We are delighted to be working with Ceredigion, Powys and Pembrokeshire councils, who have been supportive partners at every step. Indeed we could not have delivered this facility so quickly if we had not had such a progressive relationship.”
Bridgend AM Carwyn Jones said:
“I welcome Agrivert’s investment in my constituency and I was very pleased to officially open their new Anaerobic Digestion plant, the largest in Wales, at Parc Stormy, Stormy Down. The presence of this facility within my constituency will bring a number of benefits.”
The move will benefit all three councils by bringing the treatment of their food waste to Wales thus reducing transport emissions and costs. The change will also enable the councils to rethink the liners they provide to residents. All three councils are considering replacing the expensive corn starch liners with plastic ones. Plastic liners are easier to treat more locally, would reduce the costs to the councils and enable Ceredigion to consider providing liners free of charge.
Huw Morgan, Ceredigion’s Strategic Director for Sustainable Communities explained:
“Agrivert was awarded the contract to treat the region’s food waste in 2012. They have provided an excellent service since that time and I’m delighted that treatment will be moving from Oxfordshire to Wales. We look forward to continuing in our partnership for the remainder of the contract.”
“By separating food waste into the food waste bins provided by the councils, residents can help to half the cost of dealing with this waste, so I’d encourage all householders to take part.”
“The plastic liners will make using the service even easier for residents; as well as reducing our overall costs.”
Councillor Alun Williams, Cabinet Member for Envrionmental Services, said:
“I am delighted that the food waste contract Ceredigion, Powys and Pembrokeshire councils have held with Agrivert for a number of years has ultimately been a key factor in attracting this development into Wales together with the jobs associated with it.
“As the top recycling authority in Wales we are now looking to improve participation in our kerbside food waste collection still further in order to reduce our carbon footprint, save money and help keep our streets clean.”
For more information about the scheme and how to take part, residents should contact the council on [email protected].