Warwickshire County Council has awarded a new contract for the County’s food waste to be turned into green energy by Severn Trent Green Power.
A new strategic contract has been signed between Severn Trent Green Power and Warwickshire County Council. It secures capacity at Severn Trent Green Power’s Coleshill Anaerobic Digestion plant for around 20,000 tonnes of food waste from Warwickshire households to be recycled every year.
The high-tech plant in the Hams Hall area of Coleshill will take in food waste collected at the kerbside and turn it into sustainable energy. The biomethane produced as the waste decomposes in huge digestion vessels will generate renewable energy in the form of both gas and electricity. The new contract will commence on 1 February 2024.
Households in Stratford and Warwick Districts enjoy weekly separate collection of food waste. This collection method, which began in August 2022, has been rolled out very successfully, with 9888 tonnes of food waste collected for recycling in the first year.
Food waste from Stratford and Warwick Districts will continue to go to Severn Trent Green Power under the new strategic contract. The new contract secures processing capacity for the food waste currently being collected and also for future food waste that may be collected in other parts of Warwickshire.
Warwickshire’s food waste will be put to good use through the sustainable anaerobic digestion technology. The biogas generated is used by neighbouring businesses via a local gas grid. The electricity produced is used to power the digestion facility itself, used to power the neighbouring sewerage plant and sent to the national grid. Heat made in the process of generating the electricity is used to heat the onsite processes. The resultant digestated food waste remaining at the end of the process is used by local farmers as a valuable nutrient-rich fertiliser, known as digestate.
This new contract also includes social value commitments from Severn Trent Green Power, to bring even more sustainability value to the county. Severn Trent Green Power have committed to offer local apprenticeship placements; employability skills development sessions; send volunteers into the community to take part in ecological improvement projects and support for community projects.
Cllr Heather Timms, Warwickshire County Council Portfolio Holder for Environment, Climate and Culture, said: "We are very pleased to announce the new contract with Severn Trent Green Power. Anaerobic digestion is a sustainable way to treat food waste from households in Warwickshire. It is an excellent example of making the best use of our waste resources in Warwickshire.
“Food waste collected separately will be used to generate renewable energy and fertiliser, saving thousands of tonnes of carbon dioxide every year and putting the waste to good use. It is still very important for households to do everything they can to avoid unnecessary food waste in the first place. Easy tips to follow are to make a meal plan and shopping list, make good use of your freezer and make tasty snacks and meals from leftovers.”
Makin more sustainable food choices is also part of the wider work of the Warwickshire Food Strategy 2023-26, which has been developed by the Warwickshire Food Forum partnership. The Strategy focuses on taking action against food poverty, and being able to make good quality, healthy and affordable food available for all across the county. Find out more at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/warwickshirefoodstrategy
Residents can Follow Warwickshire Recycles on social media for daily tips:
- On Twitter – https://twitter.com/Warksrecycles
- On Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/warwickshirerecycles
Residents can find out where their recycling goes and the types of products it goes on to be remade into by visiting www.warwickshire.gov.uk/whereitgoes
For more information about how Warwickshire County Council is facing the challenges of the climate change emergency, visit: https://www.warwickshireclimateemergency.org.uk/