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How is Food Waste Turned into Energy?

According to the EPA, the organic waste that’s sent to landfill decomposes and subsequently produces around 15.1% of methane gas in North America alone. In addition to that, around one third of the world’s food is lost or wasted, states the World Counts statistics site. This only impacts the environment, negatively, even further. That’s why it’s important that food waste is tackled in the right way and as sustainably as possible.

Here at Willshee’s, we take pride in being able to responsibly dispose of food waste. This, in turn, allows us to reduce our own carbon footprint as well as that of our customers’. There are several benefits of using waste food as energy and we’ll be touching on those in this article. So how do we, our team at Willshee’s, deal with food waste exactly, and what can it power in your home?


How does the process work here at Willshee’s?

Some food waste is inevitable and unavoidable, especially in a restaurant or other eating establishments. However, no matter how much of it is unintentional, it still has a detrimental effect on the environment. This is because food waste, over time, generates greenhouse gases as it breaks down.

However, if you choose Willshee’s to dispose of your food waste, whether it be in a domestic or commercial setting, then you can rest assured that no harm will come to the environment during our food disposal process. This is because we use an Anaerobic Digestion Plant in the local area, so we don’t have to transport your food waste very far to ensure it’s processed sustainably.

Once your food waste reaches the Anaerobic Digestion Plant, it will then be processed and turned into renewable energy, otherwise known as biogas, as well as rich fertiliser. As the food waste is composted, gases are given off, as already touched upon. These gases are then used to power a generator that produces electricity.

The electricity generated in this way is considered to be ‘green energy’ and it’s subsequently provided to the National Grid, meaning there’s no need for energy use from other less eco-friendly sources. This subsequently lowers our customers’ environmental impact as well as our own – just another reason to choose food waste disposal services from us here at Willshee’s.


What can be powered using food waste?

Food waste can be used to generate power in a green, eco-friendly manner. It’s far more environmentally-friendly than relying on other, more traditional methods of producing energy, hence why organisations are driving energy companies to use food waste more in this way, such as Zero Waste Scotland and Energen Biogas.

Robert Etherson, Managing Director at Energen Biogas, has been recorded as saying; “Food waste that is sent to landfill is a major contributor to harmful greenhouse gases in the UK. We want to show the nation just how valuable their food waste can be if recycled properly. Here at Energen, we transform potentially harmful food waste into green energy. It’s certainly not the most glamorous of processes, however, it’s crucial in the fight against climate change and puts Scotland at the forefront of food waste recycling”.

If we all switched to using food waste to power our homes and businesses, not only would it be cheaper, but it would also be highly-sustainable. In addition, it’ll also be a valuable USP for your company if your customers know that you rely solely on green energy. According to DNAfit, the following things can be powered using annual food waste, for every person on Earth:

  • A Wi-Fi router for 14 days
  • An electric blanket for 8 hours
  • An electric shower for 13 minutes
  • A vacuum cleaner for 8 hours
  • A lawn mower for 2 hours
  • A television for 22 hours
  • A fridge for 11 hours
  • An oven for 1 hour
  • A 100 watt lightbulb for 16 hours
  • A ceiling fan for 64 hours


What are the benefits of using food waste as energy?

There are several benefits of using food waste as energy, either in a domestic or commercial setting. In such a wasteful society, it’s important that we use what we’ve wasted in a way that’s sustainable to help cancel out the negative effect it has on the environment. So what are the benefits of using food waste to generate electricity?

  • Less waste ends up in landfill, meaning fewer greenhouse gases are given off
  • Carbon emissions are lowered
  • As well as generating electricity, it has has the ability to produce heat
  • It creates jobs 
  • It’s more cost-effective than relying on conventional energy methods


Which countries are already turning food waste into energy?

According to trvst, many more countries are using food waste to produce energy, but there has to be more of a global effort if we want to make a real difference. Trvst claims that each tonne of waste that doesn’t end up in landfill can be used to power 500 homes with electricity. With this in mind, the countries and cities that are using this statistic to their advantage includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • New York, USA
  • Shenzhen, Southern China
  • Finland
  • Brazil
  • Italy
  • Denmark
  • Sweden
  • Norway



Willshee’s are pleased to provide customers throughout Burton-On-Trent, Swadlincote and the surrounding areas with first-class waste disposal services. We have skip hire services available, both commercial and domestic, as well as food waste recycling, hazardous waste disposal and more. For more information about how we can help you today, get in touch with a member of our expert team today -we’re always pleased to hear from you.


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