What happens to your recycling

What happens to recycled food waste?

Food waste collected as recycling from homes in the borough is taken to Bedfordshire where it is turned into energy and fertiliser.

During this process, food waste is put into an anaerobic digester where micro-organisms break down food waste in the absence of oxygen. This process produces biogas, a mixture of methane and carbon dioxide which can then be used to produce heat, electricity or transport fuels. The gas itself is a source of renewable energy.

The electricity produced can either be used locally or exported to the national grid.

Anaerobic digestion also creates bio-fertiliser which can be used in farming as a natural fertiliser.

When food waste is sent to landfill, it breaks down in the same way but the biogas produced goes straight into the atmosphere and contributes to climate change. Methane is 25 times more damaging that carbon dioxide.