Councils in Wales are being urged to turn food waste into energy and use anaerobic digestion (AD) technology. Speaking at conference in Cardiff (July 10) the Minister for Environment, Sustainability and Housing, Jane Davidson, said a new approach was needed to see waste as a valuable resource rather than something that needed to be disposed of as cheaply as possible.
Davidson also met with local authority cabinet members to discuss how they could improve recycling facilities in Wales and achieve the Ministers proposals for 70% recycling or composting by 2025.
The Minister told the conference that waste that could not be recycled should be used to produce energy.
She also said that studies have shown that AD technology was the best way to turn food waste into energy.
Davidson explained: Not only does this have the advantage of producing renewable energy but it also produces a high quality soil improver and fertiliser.
We consider it feasible to separately collect some 800,000 tonnes of food waste each year from households and businesses in Wales. Digesting this quantity of food waste in a network of AD plants across Wales would generate 0.2 Terawatt-hours of renewable electricity (approximately 1% of Wales electricity needs). It will also help to generate investment opportunities and green jobs in Wales.
Davidson has said that funding will be provided over the next three years for local authorities to set up new services to separately collect and treat food waste from households in Wales.
She said: I am urging local authorities to use anaerobic digestion as their preferred method for the management of the collected food waste from now on.