New contracts to process county's food and garden waste

  |  Published: Dec 18th 2015
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Four major contracts to treat Buckinghamshire's food and garden waste for the coming two years have been awarded by the County Council.

The contracts, worth £2.2m, will ensure that the county's 17,000 tonnes of food waste each year will be processed locally in anaerobic digesters.

About 41,000 tonnes of garden waste annually will be turned into saleable compost using 'open windrow' composting techniques, allowing natural bacteria to break down the green material.

Warren Whyte, Cabinet Member for Planning and Environment said the contracts - with Agrivert, FCC, Shanks and Countrystyle Recycling - reinforced the County Council's commitment to achieve its target of recycling 60% of waste by 2020. Last year it hit almost 57%, putting Buckinghamshire in the top quartile of recycling authorities.

Under the contracts, which start in February (2016), food waste from Wycombe, South Bucks and Chiltern districts will be taken by Agrivert Limited to its digester just over the county boundary in Wallingford.

The three districts' green waste, along with green waste from the seven Household Waste Recycling Centres in the south of the county, will be processed by Countrystyle Recycling Limited. Countrystyle will also manage bulking and transfer of biowaste at High Heavens, Wycombe.

Aylesbury Vale's food waste will go to Shanks Waste Management Ltd's digester at Westcott Venture Park, near Aylesbury, and FCC Waste Services (UK) Limited will handle the district's green waste.

These processes, said Warren, create the best environmental opportunities:  generating renewable energy using biogas produced from food waste treatment, and leaving a residual digestate soil improver. Moreover, green waste will be turned into compost for horticultural and agricultural uses.

'I'm very pleased we've been able to award these interim contracts,' he said. 'They'll do a great deal to help us forge ahead to meet our recycling targets speedily, which will be good for our residents and the environment.'

The interim two year contracts, with options to extend to five years, give the County Council time to plan a long-term biowaste treatment solution.

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