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Food Waste to Community Energy

With the help of local businesses, restaurants, hospitals, universities and councils we can transform waste into energy for the community.

Reduce
food waste

Save 35,000 tonnes of food from going to waste.

Empower
the community

Your food waste will help us supply biogas to 10,000 homes.

Save business
costs

For every £1 invested in reducing food waste, a restaurant can expect to make £7 in savings

Created by Olena Panasovskafrom the Noun Project

BHESCo will soon be announcing the location of our groundbreaking food waste to renewable energy plant near Brighton & Hove.

BHESCo is partnering with Brighton Paper Round to collect 35,000 tonnes of food and agricultural waste each year to supply biogas to approximately 10,000 local homes.

Brighton and Hove has lots of hotels, restaurants and pubs, and our local businesses produce large amounts of food waste which is simply thrown away.

This is a lost opportunity – why not use this important resource to generate low cost gas for our local community?

FAQ's

All food waste that is biodegradable can be processed within the plant’s digester tanks. Other waste generated from food such as plastic packaging cannot go into the digesters and must be separated from the food waste first.
Businesses are free to choose their own waste collection contractor but should refer to their contract for information on break clauses and length of contractual obligation. BHESCo is not advocating breaking existing contracts which may then incur costs or legal proceedings for the business. We are happy to discuss contracting in general for businesses that would like to ensure food waste is separated for processing at our AD plant.

BHESCo’s AD plant project has been conceived from the outset to tackle that food waste which is not suitable for consumption.

We have been aware of and have worked alongside the charitable organisations operating locally to ensure that we are not ‘poaching’ waste from these causes.

BHESCo’s project sits at the ‘bottom of the food chain’ in that respect, but above other waste disposal options such as in-vessel composting, energy from waste incineration and landfill. This is because we believe that anaerobic digestion is the optimum solution for processing food waste that is genuinely waste material and that captures the maximum value from the food waste.

A plant that can process 50,000 tonnes per annum will provide better economies of scale than 35,000 tpa due to the fixed costs of building all the required elements of the plant, being spread out over larger income streams. AD is a modular system that can be expanded dependant upon the size of land available. We are in talks with our technology provider and land owner to investigate the optimum plant size for the land available to us.

The benefit of Anaerobic Digestion is that it creates the most value from food waste of all processing methods. Principally there are four main income streams, which have a value. These are:-

  • Gate fee per tonne of waste accepted and processed from waste producers / suppliers
  • Methane gas for use as biogas to generate electricity for the National Grid and potentially heat as well through a combined heat and power system
  • Methane gas for use as higher value biomethane, a substitute for natural gas and direct injection into the local gas grid
  • Digestate or the solid end product from the food waste for use as a substitute fertiliser which can be spread on agricultural land

The value of these four streams varies with supply and demand / market forces and we will refine our business model in the coming months to reflect current prices. For that reason BHESCo’s business model is based on conservative estimates of income from these streams.

We will shortly be preparing our financial model for investment and will advertise that on BHESCo’s website in due course.

BHESCo intends to minimise emissions from transport in all of our project activities. We will not be transporting food waste ourselves to the plant but we will engage with our suppliers to encourage the use of low emissions transport from the outset. 

We expect the plant to have a minimum operating life of 20 years.

Donate Your Food Waste

The information provided will be held securely by BHESCo for the purposes of contacting you about your interest in donating food waste to our anaerobic digestion project. You can ask for your information to be amended or removed at any time, and you can do this through the various methods provided on our contact page. For more information on how we may use and store your data please view our Privacy Policy. By clicking send you agree for BHESCo retain the details you have provided for the reason(s) given.