A sustainable solution to food waste

No one wants to waste anything, which is why at Swancote Energy we look at food waste as a resource, not something to be thrown away.

A sustainable solution to food waste

No one wants to waste anything, which is why at Swancote Energy we look at food waste as a resource, not something to be thrown away.

Turning food waste into something useful

On this page, you’ll find a description of the many steps we take to convert today’s food waste into useful products for tomorrow. We generate energy, we manufacture organic fertiliser and we recycle packaging, all by re-purposing food that for whatever reason isn’t suitable for consumption. 

Whether it’s a product past its sell-by date or potato peelings from a kitchen, it’s all the same to us. We take these raw materials and start the process of creating something new. 

The first step is de-packing…

Separating food waste from its packaging

We employ manual and mechanical methods to un-pack the food waste we receive. The food waste is destined for anaerobic digestion and conversion into energy and organic fertiliser. The packaging is destroyed and sorted by material, ready for recycling.

Anaerobic digestion – creating clean energy and more

Anaerobic digestion is the process by which bacteria breaks down organic matter to create gas, which we then use to drive a turbine to generate energy. Any food waste is suitable, from bulk ingredients in powdered form, to packaged ready meals. Anaerobic digestion also works with agricultural crops, specifically grown to create bio-fuels.

It’s a complicated business, because the rate at which the bacteria creates gas, is dependent on a variety of things, including the calorific value of the food waste.

This means we have to take great care to mix the food waste we receive in such a way that we can manage the rate of energy production efficiently and safely. So everything happens in a series of interconnected and computer controlled silos that are monitored to ensure the correct output.

All in all it’s a highly technical system for converting calories into kilowatts, which we then feed into the national grid and direct to local business.

Not all the food waste can be broken down by bacteria, and what’s left over has a different use altogether…

Today’s food waste helps grow tomorrow’s food

Once the bacteria have done their thing, we’re left with a wet mixture known as digestate, which with a bit more work, can be turned into something extremely useful… organic fertiliser.

The digestate is rich in all sorts of nutrients which are of no interest to the bacteria, but are extremely beneficial to agricultural crops. The next step is to make the digestate safe to use, which we do by pasteurising it, thus creating a sterile, all natural, organic fertiliser.

The digestate fertiliser has the added benefit of being in liquid form. This means it can be applied to the soil via an injection spreader in a very precise and accurate manner, which is better for the environment and means the farmers only pay for what they need.

If you would like to see the certificate of analysis for our digestate you can download it here.

If it’s recyclable, we recycle it

Nowadays most food packaging is recyclable and most food manufacturers go to great lengths to ensure their packaging can be recycled.

So we see it as our duty to make sure that our clients efforts are not wasted. Not only do we recycle cardboard and metal packaging, we also recycle glass (not everyone does!) and uniquely we are able to sort and recycle plastic packaging too.

Swancote Energy is the only secure food waste destruction company in the UK with a TOMRA optical sorter, which means we are the only company able to recycle the plastic packaging it receives. 

Say goodbye to landfill and incineration.

Click on the links below to find out more about:

  food waste collection

•  secure food waste destruction

For more information on costs for food waste collection and destruction, please go to the prices page or telephone 01746 716400.

You can also email enquiries@swancoteenergy.com or fill in the form on this page.

“For the best price, most comprehensive service and total peace of mind… choose Swancote Energy for your food waste requirements”