Malaby Biogas expands capacity to include packaged food waste

Thu, 29-11-2012

Malaby Biogas, which operates an Anaerobic Digestion plant in Wiltshire, has expanded its scope of feedstock to include packaged waste as the installation goes from strength to strength.

During Autumn 2012 the Bore Hill Farm Biodigester installed a depackaging line to enable the plant to process packaged food waste. As part of its controlled commissioning period, material from dairy food production (supermarket desserts), cold store waste (fish, ice cream, meats and meat products), seafood meal production, bakery waste and commercial collection rounds have now been processed by Malaby as a diversion from landfill.

This development has significantly reduced waste transport miles and embedded carbon costs from landfill use.

Additional material is expected to be added as the depackaging line is utilised in further trials with different waste streams. The purpose is to allow broader access to AD for the treatment of organic waste streams which have high levels of non-biodegradable contamination such as plastic packaging. Such materials also include out of date food productions material, production line breakdowns, non-marketable foods due to H&S or inert contamination. 

Packaging removed from food waste is being considered for recycling or reuse where possible and further investment in downstream treatments is being considered to enable a reduced dependence on landfill.

Thomas Minter, Director of Malaby Biogas comments: “We were approached by a number of companies who wanted to send their packaged or semi-packaged food waste to us, so it was a logical step to evolve our processing capability to handle this waste. In doing so we are preventing even more food waste from simply rotting in landfill sites. Packaging is a significant issue for the waste management industry and as land fill tax rates and transportation costs increase the cost of disposal is set to increase rapidly in coming years.”