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New food waste recycling plant opens in Hertfordshire, UK

Vehicle inside Tamar Energy's reception hall
Vehicle inside Tamar Energy's reception hall

A new Hertfordshire-based recycling facility has started accepting food waste.

Tamar Energy’s new anaerobic digestion (AD) facility in Hoddesdon will recycle up to 66,000 tonnes per annum of food waste, to generate up to 3MW/h of renewable energy, enough to power more than 6,000 homes, and also produce a valuable biofertiliser for agricultural use.

As the fifth plant in Tamar Energy’s AD network, it is ideally located between its two existing facilities at Halstead in Essex and Basingstoke in Hampshire.

As well as accepting kerbside collected household food waste from Essex County Council, a number of well-known commercial and industrial food producers across the region are preparing to send unavoidable food waste to the Hoddesdon AD plant for recycling.

‘Complementary sister plants’

Tamar Energy’s chief executive Dean Hislop said: “Our new Hoddesdon plant is gearing up to process high volumes of food waste, which few other AD facilities are able to offer.

“The Hoddesdon plant’s accessible location, long opening hours and network of complementary sister plants means that Tamar offers a reliable, cost-effective service to local authorities and businesses looking to manage their organic waste in the most responsible way.

“AD is the cost-effective choice for recycling unavoidable food waste and is also a transparent way for local authorities and businesses to showcase their green credentials; something that’s increasingly important in today’s working environment.”

‘Special enzymes’

Seeding material from Tamar’s AD plant in Retford is being used to kick-start the digestion process. Unlike other sources of renewable energy, the biological AD process uses special enzymes to break down food waste in airtight conditions to produce a reliable, constant 24/7 supply of renewable energy. It also recycles waste into a nutrient-rich biofertiliser that can be used in place of expensive petro-chemical alternatives and has been proven to boost crop yield rates.

It is estimated that there are 15m tonnes of food waste in the UK each year, of which British households generate more than 7m tonnes. Much of the unavoidable waste, such as peelings, teabags and bones, goes into landfill or incineration.

Vehicle inside Tamar Energy's reception hall