“The operator of one of the first full-scale anaerobic digestion plants to treat household waste in the UK has revealed a “strong economic return” for its initial investment.” – Michael Chesshire.
Greenfinch Ltd, which opened its plant in South Shropshire earlier this year, said on Tuesday that plants processing 15,000 tonnes a year could cost in the region of £2.2 million to set up. There is a general misunderstanding in the waste industry over the cost, size and nature of anaerobic digestion.
But the company’s director, Michael Chesshire, revealed to an audience in London that every year a plant like his can command £300,000 for electricity generated from biogas as well as £675,000 in gate fees for taking in waste.
Mr Chesshire told delegates of the Composting Association seminar in Croydon: “There is a general misunderstanding in the waste industry over the cost, size and nature of anaerobic digestion.”
“A £2.2 million plant, which takes 15,000 tonnes of waste a year, costs £350,000 a year to operate. It can raise £675,000 a year through its gate fee and generate £300,000 of renewable energy at current electricity prices, which is a strong economic return,” he said.
Mr Chesshire said anaerobic digestion – in which waste breaks down without oxygen – was capable of a 100% diversion of material from landfill. But, he suggested the process worked best with food waste treated alone, rather than commingled with garden waste.