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How Anaerobic Digestion Can Help Food Waste Crisis

Despite millions of people around the world having poor access to food, a huge amount of produce is wasted every day, with the UK alone throwing away 9.5 million tonnes a year. However, anaerobic digestion (AD) can help put all this wasted food to good use as biofuel. 

More than one-third of food is wasted across the globe, even though one-tenth of the world’s population are suffering from chronic hunger.

There are even as many as 8.4 million people in Britain who are in food poverty, being unable to afford to eat as much as they need, with the cost-of-living crisis tightening many household finances. 

Although it will not make it easier for those in food poverty to get the produce they need, it can make better use of the food that has been wasted. 

Everything from unsold food items and leftovers to expired products and peels and trimmings can be put through anaerobic digesters as biofuel. 

The main advantages of this include reducing the amount of methane produced at landfill sites, as food waste produces three times as much of the dangerous gas as biosolids at 276 cubic metres of gas per ton. 

Limiting the amount of methane produced will have a positive impact on climate change, not only by reducing food waste on landfill sites, but also by using a renewable source of energy on the site, instead of relying on other types of fuel. 

This also helps to lower costs, as the biofuel is already available instead of having to pay for power.

Diverting waste, such as food, from landfill sites means less space is taken up by products that can be reused or recycled, so fewer landfill sites are required in the long-term.