Environment Minister David Heath has opened Bristol’s first anaerobic digestion facility.
The plant is operated by Wessex Water subsidiary GENeco and will treat 40,000 tonnes of food waste from homes, supermarkets and businesses across the south west.
Based at Bristol sewage treatment works in Avonmouth, the plant can produce 10GWh of energy a year from biogas generated through anaerobic digestion.
The Environment Minister said: “We see here the ideal balance between good business sense and environmental protection.
“The GENeco plant is unique by being the first food waste anaerobic digestion plant in Britain to be built in a sewage treatment works. Water companies using their expertise in treating sewage can provide a significant boost to the expansion of waste food anaerobic digestion in this country.
“This could potentially create thousands of new jobs, generate significant amounts of renewable energy, while solving a major environmental issue in the disposal of waste food.”
GENeco general manager Mohammed Saddiq said: “The opening of the food waste plant builds on the success and experience of using anaerobic digestion to treat sewage sludge and generate power.
“Through this investment we will produce significantly more renewable energy, while also providing a sustainable solution for dealing with food waste which traditionally goes to landfill.”