BEST PRACTICE – GENECO AVONMOUTH
The Avonmouth Food Waste Digestion Facility at Bristol treats 40,000 tonnes of food waste from homes, supermarkets, and businesses across the south west of England – preventing it from going to landfill.
The plant uses a sophisticated de-packaging system that removes all the packaging from incoming food waste and produces clean, organic slurry for the digestion process. The resultant biogas is then used to produce electricity and heat - powering both the site and exporting excess energy to the National Grid. The plant is based at Bristol sewage treatment works in Avonmouth.
The potential for co-location of waste processing plants on wastewater or digestion infrastructure is now a realistic and attractive proposition to many water utilities as the infrastructure already exists. The Avonmouth plant produces 15 GWh of energy a year from biogas generated through anaerobic digestion treatment and delivers a high-nutrient fertiliser which is used by farmers instead of expensive inorganic fertilisers.
The amount of energy produced from both the sewage treatment works and the food waste investment allows Bristol sewage treatment works – one of the largest in the UK – to be carbon neutral and self-sufficient from an energy perspective, which helps to drive down operating costs. Excess energy is also fed back into the national grid. Monsal managing director Aidan Cumiskey said, “The Bristol site is now one of the most energy efficient in the country using our key technologies to convert food waste to renewable energy.”