How Binn Group is working with food producers & outlets to reduce Scotland’s food waste

4th June 2018

Binn Group have announced a new partnership with Earnside Energy to provide the only integrated food waste collection and treatment solution across Scotland.

It is estimated that within the United Kingdom seven million tonnes of food is disposed of by British households each year, much of which was still fit for human consumption.

Within Scotland, increasing emphasis is being placed on reducing the level of food waste going to landfill, with the Scottish Government introducing strict guidelines built around the primary aim of reducing the volume of food ending up in landfill sites across the county. In order to address this problem, the Scottish Government has set a target of ensuring 70% of household waste is recycled, with a maximum of 5% sent to landfill, by the year 2025, and no biodegradable municipal waste is sent to landfill by 2021

With this issue increasingly attracting significant governmental and public attention, Binn Group has successfully formed a partnership with Earnside Energy in order to provide an integrated collection and treatment food waste solution for the whole of Scotland. Based at the Binn Ecopark near Glenfarg, the Anaerobic Digestion facility is able to process 30,000 tonnes of food and organic waste each year, producing around 18 million kilowatt hours of electricity.

So how does it work?

Once the food waste is collected from towns and cities across Scotland by Binn Group's state-of-the-art fleet of trucks, it is taken to the Anaerobic Digestion facility where it initially goes through a pre-treatment stage. This involves de-packaging, shredding and liquefaction of all food products.

Anaerobic Digestion uses natural biological processes to break down food waste into methane and carbon dioxide gases. The methane is used as a fuel to generate heat and electricity. This heat is used as part of the process, and the power is exported for use in homes and businesses across Scotland.

Anaerobic Digestion also generates large volumes of liquid which is stored in tanks on site. This liquor is then used by local farmers as a fertiliser. This means Anaerobic Digestion has twin carbon benefits: reducing reliance on fossil fuels and avoiding the use of synthetic fertilisers in Scotland’s agricultural industry.

Binn Group and Earnside Energy are completely committed to this new venture. Binn Group Managing Director, Brian Harkins says: “Earnside Energy’s investment in additional Anaerobic Digestion capacity is a testament to the long-term vision for Binn EcoPark. We have increased our collection capacity and the Food Waste Scotland campaign is helping to focus customers on our unique integrated food waste collection and treatment solution.”

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