Christmas leftovers being turned into green energy

Severn Trent Green Power is expecting 10,000 tonnes of Christmas leftovers to be delivered to its food waste plants this month, where it’ll be converted into green energy.

Monday, 6th January 2020, 9:30 am
Updated Wednesday, 8th January 2020, 12:54 pm
More than 10,000 tonnes of Christmas leftovers will be turned into green energy.
More than 10,000 tonnes of Christmas leftovers will be turned into green energy.

Teams at Severn Trent Green Power will use unwanted festive food waste from 1.5 million homes to create bio-gas and electricity when it arrives at its eight waste plants located across the midlands, Oxfordshire, South Wales and London.

Once they’ve gone through the anaerobic digestion (AD) process, the seasonal food waste, that would otherwise be destined for landfill, will generate around 4,700 megawatt hours, which is enough renewable energy to power more than a thousand homes for a year.

Pamela Lloyd, commercial director at Seven Trent Green Power, said: “When the festive period comes to an end, each year we see a big increase in the amount of food waste that’s delivered to our AD plants.

“Whether it’s the unwanted leftovers from Christmas dinner or from the parties people will be hosting, we’re getting ready to take delivery of around 10,500 tonnes of food waste, which would otherwise be destined for landfill and turn them into green energy.”

Explaining how the AD process works, Pamela added: “The AD process is a clever, but pretty simple one.

“Our plants basically act as giant stomachs. As the unavoidable waste from Christmas dinner breaks down, bio-methane gas is naturally released and captured in these ‘stomachs’.

“This green gas is then injected back into the local gas grid or converted into electricity, which again, can be exported to the local electricity grid, decarbonising the energy we all use.

“The magic doesn’t stop there either.

“At the end of this process, we’re left with a by-product that acts as an excellent fertiliser, rich in nitrates, which is great for farming - effectively returning food waste back to the ground it was grown in.

“Converting the food waste into green gas and electricity onsite also allows our sites to be self-sustainable, consuming the energy we create.”

The green energy produced from food waste forms part of Severn Trent’s triple carbon pledge - achieving zero carbon emissions, 100 per cent renewable power and an all-electric fleet of vehicles by 2030.