Scotland to recycle food waste

Scotland's water and waste authority has unveiled plans to turn food waste into energy and compost.

Scottish Water Waste Services has been awarded a licence to begin recycling food waste at its composting site in Deerdykes, central Scotland.

The site has been recycling garden waste into environmentally-friendly compost for three years, and the installation of a new multi-million pound in-vessel system means that it can now turn food waste into a usable product.

Other plans include a state-of-the-art anaerobic digestion plant, which will turn food waste into green energy. The energy produced will be used to power the plant and some of the neighbouring industrial estates, with any excess sold back to the National Grid.

Scottish Water Waste Services' business development manager Donald MacBrayne said: "During anaerobic digestion, gases are produced that can be harnessed to produce electricity. Everything from food production waste, including food spoiled in transit, to out-of-date packaged food can be transformed into an efficient and environmentally friendly energy source."

Mike Russell MSP, environment minister, said: "One of the things we want to see is an increase in the amount of industrial and commercial waste being recycled or composted. The extension to Deerdykes is precisely the kind of forward thinking that we want local authorities to undertake, as we push to minimise the waste generated in Scotland."

The plant is expected to be fully operational by April 2010. Planning permission has been granted, project funding is in place and applications for permits are well under way. Monsal and HBS Construction (previously Henry Boot Scotland) won the contract to design and build the plant.

This initiative will provide vital local employment to the Cumbernauld area, with 17 new jobs already created since the opening of the new composting plant and more jobs to come with the build of the new facility.

Jude Maxwell, from Scottish Enterprise, said: "We know that innovative waste management is fundamental to sustainable business growth and increased competitive advantage.

"It has particular significance within the food and drink sector, one of Lanarkshire's thriving industries, and there are a number of opportunities for these businesses to further grow and diversify their waste management solutions."

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