Green energy boost as Millerhill food waste recycling plant officially opens
Councillors from Midlothian and The City of Edinburgh Councils today paid a visit to the Zero Waste Parc in Millerhill to see for themselves how a new state of the art facility will turn the region's food waste into renewable energy.
Cllr Derek Rosie, Cabinet Member for Commercial Operations at Midlothian Council and Cllr Lesley Hinds, Environment Convenor at The City of Edinburgh Council were visiting the recently completed Millerhill Anaerobic Digestion plant to mark its official opening.
This facility, which was constructed by Alauna Renewable Energy, a partnership between Kelda Organic Energy and Scottish Water Horizons, is capable of recycling all of the discarded food that is collected by the two Councils, plus some additional waste from local businesses and industries.
The site captures methane gas generated from Anaerobic Digestion to and uses it to generate renewable electricity. The electricity will be utilised by Scottish Water at their local water treatment works and is the equivalent of powering 3300 homes.
Cllr Derek Rosie, Cabinet Member for Commercial Operations at Midlothian Council said, "We're absolutely delighted to officially open this plant today. We introduced food waste recycling just over a year ago and in that time, our residents have really embraced the opportunity to use their new food bins, pushing our recycling rate between June to September 2016 up to an impressive 57.3%. Knowing that this local plant can treat up to 30,000 tonnes of food waste is very impressive, it will certainly go a long way in helping us reach our Zero Waste targets while turning waste into energy and fertiliser."
Cllr Lesley Hinds, Environment Convenor at The City of Edinburgh Council said, "It is fantastic to see the state-of-the-art facility up and running, marking a pivotal moment for this successful partnership between the City of Edinburgh Council, Midlothian Council and Alauna Renewable Energy."
"By processing up to 30,000 tonnes of food waste a year - while recovering energy in the process - this treatment plant is essential to both councils' ambition to drive the amount of waste sent to landfill down to zero."
Pamela Doherty, Managing Director of Kelda Water Services said, "Throughout the project the Alauna Renewable Energy Team have worked closely with our partners at The City of Edinburgh and Midlothian Councils to ensure that this facility met their ambitious expectations. The result is a state of the art facility that will make a significant contribution to both reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill, and generating renewable energy."
A state of the art energy from waste site is also currently being constructed next to the food waste recycling plant on the Zero Waste Parc. It is hoped the project to treat both food and landfill waste on the site, creating renewable energy in the process, will help both authorities contribute to the national recycling target of 70% by 2025 and the national landfill diversion target of 95% by 2025.