Let’s celebrate the AD success story

Dr Liz Goodwin, CEO, WRAP

Yesterday’s story in the Daily Mail ‘Slop-buckets farce’ (23 May) gives a misleading view of the rapidly growing role which food waste and anaerobic digestion (AD) are playing in delivering economic and environmental benefits to the UK.

The fact is that in the UK we still produce 15 million tonnes of food waste every year. In the past this was sent to landfill where it rotted in the ground producing harmful gases. Now we can turn this waste into useful and valuable products. It produces renewable energy and creates a viable, cheap alternative to conventional fertiliser – and deals with the problem of ‘smelly waste’. I think this is good news for us all.

The growth of AD in the UK over the past five years has been phenomenal. In 2005 there was just one facility processing food waste. Now there are 46. This is a significant economic and environmental success story for the UK. Not to mention the jobs it creates.

The Mail story said that the energy created can only supply power for 40,000 homes. Frankly, I, and many others, think this is remarkable and should be celebrated.

AD is not a new technology. However, a great deal of work has gone into ensuring the products produced are safe and appropriate for agriculture, regeneration, landscaping and many other uses.

I, and many others investing in the technology, believe that this technology offers the UK real benefits and WRAP will continue to support the growth of this sector.



This article was given the paper's normal "Doom and Gloom" slant to an outcome that should be celebrated, converting food waste into energy. All energy created this way should be celebrated.

The main problem with conventional AD is that the bio-gas and subsequent energy production is normally the secondary outcome with the digestate being seen as the primary outcome which very few people want or know what to do with, hence the main theme of the article.

The 21st Century solution is AD without digestate, maybe the Daily Mail would be able to celebrate a break through such as this. They may be interested to know that Adept Sustainable Energy Limited has developed an AD process that does just that.

Stephen Moseley(not verified) 25th May 2012

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