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Environment Minister says AD is the best process to tackle food waste

Anaerobic digestion (AD) is the best technology to use to tackle food waste and local authorities and waste management companies should be investing more in this process, said Environment Minister Joan Ruddock. Speaking at the Environmental Services Association (ESA) Conference in London, Ruddock said that as local authorities increased food waste collections AD was the best initiative to use to recycle this waste. She said: It ticks all the boxes environmentally. It produces 100% renewable energy, and the treated material can be returned to the land as a fertiliser offering us a virtuous circle. And the whole process reduces greenhouse gas emissions when compared with other waste processes. Overall, British households produce 7 million tonnes of food waste per year. Ruddock described how if you tried to put that amount of waste in your average dustcart it would fill around 350,000 vehicles. Ruddock also said that the Government wanted to establish proper standards and protocols for anaerobic technology, in order for investors to know that there will be a market for AD. To tackle the issue the Government has asked the Environment Agency and WRAP to develop a standard for anaerobic digestate so that they can identify when it has been fully recovered and can be treated as a product. It is imperative that we establish a system that encourages people and businesses to reduce their food waste by separating as much of as possible the unavoidable waste making it available for collection and treatment by AD, said Ruddock.

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