New food recycling plant is green for go

The official opening of the Millerhill AD Plant.
The official opening of the Millerhill AD Plant.

The new state of the art recycling facility in Millerhill which turns food waste into renewable energy was officially opened last week.

Councillor Derek Rosie, cabinet member for commercial operations at Midlothian Council and Councillor Lesley Hinds, environment convenor at The City of Edinburgh Council, visited the recently completed Millerhill Anaerobic Digestion plant to mark its official opening.

This facility, which was constructed by Alauna Renewable Energy, a partnership between Kelda Organic Energy and Scottish Water Horizons, is capable of recycling all of the discarded food that is collected by the two councils, plus some additional waste from local businesses and industries.

Cllr Derek Rosie (SNP), welcomed the new plan.

He said: “We introduced food waste recycling just over a year ago and in that time, our residents have really embraced the opportunity to use their new food bins, pushing our recycling rate between June to September 2016 up to an impressive 57.3 per cent.

“Knowing that this local plant can treat up to 30,000 tonnes of food waste is very impressive, it will certainly go a long way in helping us reach our zero waste targets while turning waste into energy and fertiliser.”

The site captures methane gas generated from Anaerobic Digestion to and uses it to generate renewable electricity.

‘‘This will be utilised by Scottish Water at its local water treatment works and is the equivalent of powering 3300 homes.

Pamela Doherty, Managing Director of Kelda Water Services said: “Throughout the project the Alauna Renewable Energy Team has worked closely with City of Edinburgh and Midlothian Councils to ensure that this facility met their ambitious expectations.

“The result is a state of the art facility that will make a significant contribution to both reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill, and generating renewable energy.”

A state of the art energy from waste site is also currently being constructed next to the food waste recycling plant on the Zero Waste Parc.

It is hoped the project, to treat both food and landfill waste on the site, creating renewable energy in the process, will help both authorities contribute to the national recycling target of 70 per cent by 2025 and the national landfill diversion target of 95 per cent by 2025.