16 July 2019 by Lucy Pegg

AD needs greater role in emissions targets, says ADBA

Government must push ahead with plans to mandate separate food waste collections, if climate change goals are to be met, according to the UK’s food waste treatment sector.

This is according to the Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association (ADBA), which claims that anaerobic digestion (AD) can play a greater role in government plans to meet net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Anaerobic digestion facilities treat organic wastes to produce biogas and digestate

ADBA’s call comes in response to a report from the Committee on Climate Change’s (CCC) last week which analysed the progress of the UK’s plans to tackle the environmental crisis.

The CCC – a think tank on climate change, led by the former Environment Secretary Lord Deben – called for government to ban biodegradable waste from landfill by 2025 “at the very latest”, amongst a wealth of other proposals (see letsrecycle.com story).

Circular economy

Responding to the report, Jon Harrison, External Affairs Manager for ADBA, said: “By processing waste (notably food waste) and turning it into clean energy and bio-fertilisers, AD can also support the development of a circular economy that both farmers and the general public can fully engage with.

“On the back of the CCC report and as the most immediate measures, we would therefore encourage the government to progress the agriculture bill as soon as possible, with recognition of AD included in its system of “payments for public goods”, and to continue to support local authorities with the implementation of separate food waste collections by 2023.”

A report published by the organisation last week, suggested that only 1.6 to 2.2% of the global potential of AD, suggesting there is space for huge growth of the infrastructure.

To encourage this growth ADBA are calling for the removal of all fossil fuel subsidies in order to create a “level playing field” for biogas.

It also wants AD to be included in all renewable energy incentives and strategies for greenhouse gas reduction. The organisation would also like AD to be the preferred method of treatment for all biodegradable waste, alongside policies to increase the collection of these materials.


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