The first county-wide food waste collections to be processed using anaerobic digestion on a large scale will begin this summer in Oxfordshire. Food waste collections across the county will begin following a 15-year deal between the county council and organic waste specialists Agrivert.
Agrivert will process the food and green waste at a number of facilities, including two new anaerobic digestion plants and an in-vessel composting plant.
Two of the Animal By-Product Regulation compliant sites already have planning permission; the 35,000 tonne a year IVC plant at Ardley and the 30,000 tonne a year AD plant at Cassington.
The third ABPR complaint site, a second 30,000 tonne a year AD facility, is proposed for Crowmarsh Gifford and is subject to planning permission. But Agrivert sales and marketing director Harry Waters said he was confident of obtaining permission, adding that the plant fits with Government policy on AD. He also said the plans had been approved by the Highways Agency and had passed environmental screening.
Waters said the three new plants will cost about £18 million to build and could lead to about 100,000 tonnes of organics being treated within the county each year.
This [AD and IVC processing] is the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs main option for food waste. We are the first people, apart from Shropshire, to do this on a large scale. And we are the first at a county-wide level to do this on an AD basis, said Waters.
He also highlighted the energy the two AD plants will produce, which will be enough to supply electricity more than 5,000 households.