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Biogas Industry Moves To Tackle Spike In Food Waste


The Renewable Energy Association (REA) and the Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association (ABDA) have called on the biogas and aerobic digestion sectors to provide information on their current capacity levels, in a bid to tackle the increase in organic waste during the coronavirus crisis.

The Environment Agency has concerns that a side effect of the government imposed lockdown is the increase in food waste due to the closure of food and drink markets that are vital to farms, fisheries, and breweries, as well as the changes to consumers shopping habits.

In response, the REA and ADBA have launched a joint survey that aims to match organic waste producers with their nearest AD operators.

The UK-wide survey is to identify suitable AD plants for the feedstock types that a currently available.

It also aims to help Defra, regulatory bodies, and industries that generate biodegradable waste in identifying the overall spare capacity available to treat feedstock so that as much organic waste can be processed as possible in a way that cuts methane emissions and generates renewable energy.

Both ABDA and REA have said they will use the gathered information from the survey to match farmers and other food and drink supply chain organisations that have surpluses to be recycled with suitable AD operators.

Dr Nina Skorupska, chief executive of the REA said: "It is our role as associations to ensure that our members and the wider industry can operate as normally as possible through these unprecedented times.

"With lockdown measures resulting in a drop in feedstock supplies in AD plants, this survey is a valuable tool that will not only aid the AD operators business continuity but prevent surplus waste from being disposed of in an inefficient and environmentally unfriendly manner.”

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