FM Contracts team carry out duty of care visits to University’s anaerobic digestion waste sites

These site visits are an important part of the FM Contracts team responsibility to carry out duty of care checks, to ensure our non-hazardous waste is being disposed of in a safe and compliant way on behalf of the University.

Most recently, Richard Alexander (Head of FM Contracts), Max Horner (FM Contracts Manager) and Romana Hafeez (FM Contracts Coordinator), visited the Severn Trent Anaerobic Digestion Plant at Benson, near Wallingford. This site receives the University’s food waste from our contractor, Select Environmental Services, and processes it using anaerobic digestion. This is a process by which organic matter is broken down to produce two very useful items - biogas, which is used to produce green energy to power UK homes and businesses, and biofertilizer, a nutrient-rich fertiliser for our farmers growing crops, fruits and vegetables. Combined with it’s other 8 sites, Seven Trent produce 230 GWh of green energy, along with 400,000l of fertiliser to UK farmland.

You can watch a video detailing the process on Youtube.

Using anaerobic digestion to manage the University’s food waste is positive for two key reasons. Firstly, it is an environmentally friendly process supporting renewable energy and sustainable agriculture, and will help to support the University’s sustainability strategy. Secondly, this process results in a significant cost saving for the University. Food collected for anaerobic digestion is charged at c50% less than if it was collected as residual waste for disposal by waste to energy.

In March, the team will be visiting the Material Recovery Facility at FCC Smallmead to check how the University’s dry mixed recycling is handled.