From left Cllr Ann Crimmings, Cabinet Member for Environment, Leisure and Sport; Alun Davies AM, Minister for Natural Resources and Food; Council Leader, Cllr Andrew Morgan
Work is underway on the construction of a new innovative food waste recycling plant in Rhondda Cynon Taf, which will create green energy for 1,500 homes.
Partner councils Rhondda Cynon Taf, Merthyr Tydfil and Newport City have worked together on the Tomorrow’s Valley project to find the most suitable and affordable solution to manage food waste in a sustainable way.
Renewable energy firm Biogen (UK) Ltd have designed and will build and operate the new food waste-to-energy plant at Bryn Pica, Aberdare.
The new anaerobic digestion facility has the capacity to convert 22,500 tonnes of food waste into green electricity and also a fertiliser for farmland.
Alun Davies AM, Wales Minister for Natural Resources and Food, has visited Bryn Pica to mark the start of work on the food waste recycling plant.
Based on current food waste recycling rates across the three councils involved, this project could result in a further one mega-watt of green electricity being generated, sufficient to power an additional 1,500 homes.
Rhondda Cynon Taf Council Leader, Cllr Andrew Morgan, said: “This exciting and innovative project at the Council’s Bryn Pica landfill site further emphasises our continued commitment to work towards a more sustainable and environmentally-focused future, through innovative and efficient waste, recycling and re-use practices, coupled with the benefits of renewable energy sources and further contributes to the on-going reduction in the Council’s carbon emissions.
“This coupled with the Council’s continued drive to encourage residents to recycle more means that residents are thinking greener and showing that they love where they live.
“Rhondda Cynon Taf Council continues to encourage and support people with initiative such as our successful kerbside food waste recycling service.
“The success of the food waste recycling plant will be down to the long-term commitment of our residents as we strive to not only educate but also to actively encourage everyone to become environmentally-friendly.”
Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Sport and Leisure, Cllr Ann Crimmings, said: “We are pleased that work on the food waste project is underway. The success of this partnership proves our continued commitment to working towards a more sustainable and environmentally-focused future, through innovative and efficient waste, recycling and re-use practices.”
The scheme, which uses the Welsh Government’s favoured treatment process for dealing with food waste, was supported by the Welsh Government’s Regional Capital Access Fund.
Alun Davies, Minister for Natural Resources and Food, said: “Wales is the only country in the UK with a national programme to tackle household food waste - and Bryn Pica will demonstrate the benefits.
“The Welsh Government has provided more than £2.6m in funding this project so far, which will create jobs and generate renewable energy.
“We have provided leadership to Local Government and the market with our ambitions, and I am pleased to see that work is beginning on site.”
Biogen Chief Executive, Julian O’Neill, said: “The Bryn Pica AD plant is a fantastic investment for the area, both as a food waste treatment facility and as an educational resource for the community.
“Construction of the plant is progressing and we look forward to it being fully operational and generating electricity by July 2015.”
One million tonnes of waste is already being used to generate 1.8 megawatts of green electricity at the Council’s Bryn Pica site in Llwydcoed, Aberdare.
The electricity, which is being fed into the national grid, provides sufficient energy to power all the households in Llwydcoed, Church Village and Tonypandy