Opportunities For A Central Anaerobic Digestion Facility To Meet The Food Waste Regulations – A Business Plan

Shelton-Smith, J. and Wheatley, A.D.
Loughborough University


The increasing regulatory pressures driven by acceptability, perception and legislation have raised the costs of treating wastes
from both food retail and manufacturing. The industry needs a new analysis of previously standard practices including landfill,
discharge to sewer, incineration, composting and anaerobic digestion. Anaerobic digestion provides a sustainable route for
selected organic materials as it will produce by-products of energy and fertiliser materials. The paper reports on a multiple
value approach to cost benefit assessment of an anaerobic digestion case study compared to the alternatives.
These increasing disposal costs, combined with rises in energy and fertiliser prices have begun to produce the commercial
drivers required for private sector involvement. Central Anaerobic Digestion (CAD) could be developed as renewable energy
facilities, whilst dealing with local organic wastes from both industry and large food outlets under well controlled conditions.
Skilled operation would provide energy in the form of heat and electricity for export. The paper presents a Business Plan for
a proposed 6,000m³ CAD facility in the SE of England, showing how joined up value analysis generates good returns.
Central Anaerobic Digestion, food waste, business planning

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