AD capacity available to take surplus food wastes during COVID-19 outbreak

A consequence of the Covid-19 lockdown has been the large amount of additional organic wastes generated by the closure of markets for food and drink producers such as farms, fisheries and breweries.

We know that some AD plants have the capacity to take additional wastes if permitted to do so and we have launched in conjunction with ADBA an UK-wide survey to identify suitable AD plants for the various feedstock types in an effort to match AD operators with the farmers and other food/drinks supply chain organisations that have surplus that needs to be recycled. We would be grateful if you could complete the survey at the earliest opportunity if your plants have spare capacity. 

ADBA and the REA have passed their contact details to NFU, the environmental regulators, and Defra our contact numbers that can be passed to farmers and industries. They can then contact us directly, so that we can then put them in touch with those of you who are positioned near the potential supplier.

The survey also aims to assist Defra, the regulators and industries that generate biodegradable waste in identifying the spare capacity at AD plants that could process surplus production (milk, trout, beer etc) and waste streams in light of COVID-19.

As highlighted by the regulator, waste production in the food and drink sector should be avoided or minimised where possible and that the waste hierarchy should be adopted where waste production is unavoidable. This is set out in detail in Defra’s statutory guidance Food and drink waste hierarchy: deal with surplus and waste – GOV.UK.

This guidance is equally relevant during the current Covid-19 situation.

As indicated in Defra’s guidance, the nature of food and drink wastes often make them very suitable candidates for Anaerobic Digestion.

The regulator is keen to promote AD over other waste management routes which are lower down the waste hierarchy eg disposal to sewer or landfill.

Our contact details are available below for any further information.

REA:  Kiara Zennaro [email protected]; Jenny Grant [email protected]; Emily Nichols [email protected]

ADBA: Sam Hinton [email protected] or Rebecca Thompson [email protected]