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August 5th, 2012:

UK’s Largest Anaerobic Digestion Food Waste Facility Opened

Description: Weltec Biopower biogas Hungry combined heat and power

Vehicles enter the facility through rapid open/shut doors and unload in a waste reception area

22 June 2011

UK based integrated waste management company Biffa, has opened the country’s largest Anaerobic Digestion (AD) facility for the sole treatment of food waste.

According to the company, the new 120,000 tonne capacity facility, located next to the company’s landfill site in Poplars, Staffordshire, is a strategically important step forward, and marks the country’s first ‘super’ AD plant dealing with food waste.

Biffa maintains that the construction of large scale ‘super’ AD food waste facilities will be the shape of things to come for food waste management in the UK.

Speaking at the opening of the Poplars facility, Ian Wakeline, Biffa chief executive, explained that such facilities make much more sense than having lots of small plants dotted around the country and offer stronger economics, reduced costs and greater technical refinement than would be cost effective as a smaller facility.

Currently in a ramping up stage, once running at full capacity next month, the £24 million facility will generate 6 MW of electricity through the combustion of biogas in three 2 MW gas engine powered gen-sets.

The plant will receive source segregated food waste from supermarkets, food and drink manufacturers, hotels, restaurants, caterers and homes is delivered to the site from Biffa’s collection network.

Vehicles enter the facility through rapid open/shut doors and unload in a waste reception area. Solid and liquid waste is emptied into a bunker then crushed before grit and packaging is removed. The organic material then enters a suspension tank before it is pasteurised.

The pasteurisation process heats the material to 70 degrees C for at least one hour to meet the requirements of the Animal By-Products Regulations.

The waste is then piped into one of five digester tanks in which naturally occurring microbes already present in the waste break the material down over a certain timeframe, creating methane and carbon dioxide (biogas) and water. The company said that the plant will be entirely self sufficient, using electricity generated from the biogas to power the plant, and exporting the rest to the grid.

The remaining digestate will be produced to meet PAS110 certification. The wet mixture is transferred into two centrifuges to reduce the water content. The remaining solids are used by local farms as a soil improver in the same way as compost or oil based manufactured fertilisers.

The new facility will feature in the July/August issue of Waste Management World Magazine. Click HERE to receive your free copy.

so much for representation They should pay back their salaries


Chief executive should tackle air pollution too before policy address


Chief executive should tackle air pollution too before policy address

Aug 05, 2012

When the government announced on Thursday that the chief executive will break with tradition and deliver his first policy address in January instead of October, we trust Leung Chun-ying looked out of his window and reflected on the view from Government House – or what you could see of it. That would have helped explain why the report on the delay failed to make the front page of this newspaper, while one on the health-threatening level of air pollution that day did.

He has delayed the address to give the government more time to build a partnership with the new Legislative Council to be elected next month. Hopefully he will take the opportunity to raise with lawmakers the urgency of the city’s need for a meaningful, effective policy to clean up the air we breathe. He did, after all, list the environment among his government’s priorities if elected. There is reason for hope in reports that ChristineLoh Kung-wai, public policy think-tank chief and environmental advocate, is to join the government as undersecretary for the environment. Her own credibility will be at stake in the government’s performance on the environment.

Reports about extreme pollution events are familiar, but they never fail to shock. This time, experts repeated calls for a new alert system to warn the public about the health risks. Roadside readings in Central – of the air we actually breathe – hovered at or above 190 for 20 hours beginning on Wednesday, peaking at a record for the city of 212 with the exception of a sandstorm in 2010. Causeway Bay was almost as bad. That is off the dial of World Health Organisation guidelines. High readings continued yesterday. Medical authorities say more than 3,000 premature deaths a year can be attributed to air pollution.

It is no good officials continue to blame cross-border air pollution because the main culprit is roadside pollution, especially emissions from the thousands of old buses. It is no good them pointing to Hongkongers’ relatively long life expectancy, since this standard was established by people who did not breathe such filthy air. It is no good them pointing to the cost of getting cleaner air, since this ignores the cost to the community of pollution and we can easily afford it anyway. There is simply no excuse for the former government having delayed the introduction of new air quality objectives until 2014, or for adopting standards well below WHO guidelines, or for not having used its powers under existing legislation to introduce new standards sooner.

The chief executive has said action on urgent livelihood issues can be rolled out ahead of the policy address. On second thoughts, action on air pollution that puts the public interest ahead of sectional interests need not wait for the policy address either.