Scottish recycling project to include food waste

By Lisa Gibson
In response to a report on the staggering amount of food waste in Scotland, Scottish Water Waste Services is expanding its garden waste collection and recycling project to include food waste from supermarkets, food manufacturers and households, the company announced in September.

The study, conducted by Waste & Resources Action Programme Scotland, found that Scottish households throw away 1 billion pounds of food every year. SWWS's Deerdykes Organics and Recycling Facility outside Cumbernauld began food collection trials in North Lanarkshire, Glasgow, Argyll and Bute and East Renfrewshire. The trash will be recycled and composted into pod, a peat-free soil improver, according to the company. The project has been successful thus far, according to SWWS. "We've had a fantastic start to these, and local residents have been incredibly supportive, showing a real �green' streak," said Donald MacBrayne, business development manager for SWWS.

The company has collected garden waste from five councils (Glasgow, North Lanarkshire, Argyll and Bute, East Dunbartonshire and West Dunbartonshire) since its establishment in 2006, composting the waste to produce pod. More than 100,000 metric tons of grass cuttings, tree trimmings and shrub pruning has been transformed to 50,000 metric tons of pod, according to SWWS.

In addition, an anaerobic digestion facility is under construction on the Deerdykes site that will produce about 8,000 megawatts of power each year-enough to power 2,000 homes-from about 30,000 metric tons of food waste, according to SWWS. The facility, estimated to cost about �7 million (about $11.6 million), is expected to be completed in the spring of 2010.

The biogas produced at the facility will be used in a combined-heat-and-power engine to generate electricity. The electricity will initially be used at the Deerdykes facility, but it could potentially be used to heat and power the neighboring industrial estate, or be sold to the national grid, according to the company. A district heating plan to export heat directly to local homes and businesses is also being discussed.