Hackneys fruit and veg turned to green power

 
Wed 13 Apr 2011

The three markets throw away almost a thousand tonnes of waste food a year.  That’s equivalent to:

  • 250,000  clementine oranges
  • More than 8,300,000 Braeburn apples
  • Or 56,000,000 strawberries

Up until now the unsold fruit and vegetables has had to be sent to landfill where it adds significantly to environmental pollution.  Rotting food gives off methane gas which is twenty-five times more destructive than carbon dioxide as an agent of global warming.  In Anaerobic Digestion that methane is captured to generate electricity while all that is left is a liquid biofertiliser which is ready to spread on arable land.

Larry Julian, Chair of Ridley Road market Traders’ Association, said: “My family has had fruit and vegetable stalls on Ridley Road market for generations. It’s amazing to think that our unwanted cauliflower leaves and cabbage stalks can now be turned into electricity. That really is green energy.”

Apart from the massive environmental benefit, not sending the waste food to landfill will save Hackney’s council tax payers several thousand pounds a year.

Cllr Feryal Demirci, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, said:  “At Hackney Council we are always looking for ways to make the borough greener. Turning food waste into electricity really helps us in our sustainability agenda. Such innovative technology also helps us with basic issues, like keeping our busy markets clear.”

Richard Barker, Chief Executive of BiogenGreenfinch said, “Anaerobic Digestion is the government’s preferred method for getting rid of food waste because all the science shows it creates the most benefit.  We’re delighted to be teaming up with Hackney Council and we hope local residents will be really pleased to think that they’re saving money and helping save the planet at the same time. “

The UK produces more than eight million tonnes of domestic food waste a year with more than 600,000 tonnes of this from London alone. BiogenGreenfinch works in partnership with Ealing, Hounslow, Richmond, and Surrey Councils.

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