What happens to the food waste?

The majority of collected food waste in Devon is sent to an Anaerobic Digestion plant where it is treated:

  • at the plant any bin/caddy liners will be removed and recycled if possible or converted into energy via an energy from waste plant
  • the food waste is mixed and pulped to create a thick liquid which is then pasteurised (heated) to kill any harmful bacteria
  • as the food waste breaks down it produces biogas (a mixture of methane and carbon dioxide) which is extracted and used to generate electricity which is then fed into the national grid
  • once the gas has been removed a liquid food fertiliser (known as ‘digestate’) remains which can be used on local farmland
  • digestate is high in valuable nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus and other elements required for healthy plant growth and fertile soil