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Anaerobic digestion in Yorkshire

Watch Sue Jefferson talking about the scale and potential of anaerobic digestion in Yorkshire.
In Yorkshire & the Humber Region there are currently 47 operational AD plants, 29 of which are farm-fed and 18 of which are waste-fed. Plants within the region predominantly produce electricity and heat via Combined Heat and Power units, but now with 10 newer projects supplying biomethane into the gas grid, following the switch of emphasis of Government support to decarbonisation of the gas grid from 2019, when support for small-scale electricity generation came to an end. AD Plants in the region have capacity to treat a total of 562,000 tpa of food waste, 227,000 tpa of manure or slurry, 232,000 tpa of crops, and 221,000 tpa of other waste feedstocks, including green waste and food manufacturing waste.
As an example of its energy output, taking just the waste that is created when making one sausage roll, when put through an AD plant, would heat a house for 2 minutes or power a laptop for over half an hour. That’s the power of biowaste. In addition to these operational plants, there are a further 20 AD projects under development in the region, although we don’t expect all of these to go ahead due to feedstock and funding constraints. One development we are particularly excited about is Circular Malton’s community AD facility, which has received funding from the Rural Community Energy Fund to demonstrate the feasibility, engage the community and execute a development plan.
Circular Malton & Norton is an initiative supported by the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) for York and North Yorkshire that is using change management thinking to engage the whole community, households and businesses, to overcome our barriers to climate actions, start to make changes from our traditional Take Make Dispose economic model to one that keeps our valuable resources in circulation for as long as possible and puts back our natural resources with minimal loss. It aims to create Yorkshire’s (and possibly the UK’s) first circular market town.
With people in the town having already succeeded in several community initiatives, including redistribution of excess food, reuse of materials, reduction in carbon and plastic in local businesses and reducing festival waste, Circular Malton & Norton have explored the feasibility of setting up a community anaerobic digester to create value from unavoidable waste that will benefit the local economy. The development, if demonstrated to be commercially feasible, will convert inedible food waste from local shops, cafes, breweries, producers and schools into green energy, for local distribution and use where possible, and see the whole community benefit.

There are a number of anaerobic digestion plants currently operating in Yorkshire, many of which are powered by waste.

A community AD facility is planned in Malton as part of the Circular Malton & Norton initiative. This will create value from unavoidable food waste, creating green energy for the benefit of local residents.

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