REA and ADBA launch survey to treat organic waste surplus caused by Covid-19 lockdown

The initiative aims to connect suppliers with regulators and prioritise recycling through anaerobic digestion over other types of disposal such as energy recovery, incineration and landfill

In response to the organic waste surplus caused across the UK by the Covid-19 lockdown, the Association for Renewable Energy and Technology (REA) and the Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association (ADBA) have launched a survey to identify suitable plants where the additional feedstock can be treated.

They note the coronavirus crisis has impacted several food and drinks organisations by forcing them to stop selling their products, creating large volumes of waste they now need to get rid of.

During the lockdown measures, for example, many dairy farmers have experienced disrupted milk collections and are unable to store all the milk they have been left with.

The newly announced initiative will prioritise recycling through anaerobic digestion (AD) over other types of disposal such as energy recovery, incineration and landfill.

Charlotte Morton, Chief Executive of ADBA, said: “This survey of anaerobic digestion’s spare capacity to treat various types of organic wastes shows how our industry can proactively play its part in supporting farmers and food and drinks producers with their surplus feedstock.

“Most importantly, it delivers a solution that not only tackles the current waste surplus crisis, but also, by recycling organic wastes into biogas for power, heat and transport as well as biofertilisers for agriculture, sustains the economy and establishes a building block towards a green recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.”

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