Following its successful appointment as preferred bidder last year, Alauna Renewable Energy (ARE) has agreed a 20-year deal to build and operate a food waste treatment plant, on behalf of the City of Edinburgh and Midlothian councils, near Millerhill.
The dedicated recycling facility, planned to be operational in 2015, will be capable of receiving around 30,000 tonnes per year of discarded food that is collected by the two Partner Councils and recycling it back to agricultural land as a soil conditioner and fertiliser high in valuable nutrients, particularly nitrogen, leaving no waste.
So how will this be done exactly? The answer is through what’s called Anaerobic Digestion (AD) - a process whereby bacteria break down organic material in the absence of air, yielding a biogas containing methane.
A major advantage of AD is that methane, a greenhouse gas more than 20 times more potent than CO2 that is produced naturally when uneaten food breaks down, is captured and used to generate renewable electricity and heat rather than escaping to the atmosphere from landfill sites.
Read full story in the March 14 edition of the Midlothian Advertiser.