FROM LOCAL FOOD WASTE TO LOCAL ENERGY TO HELP POWER BLAENAU GWENT
Recycle for Wales and Blaenau Gwent Council partner up to launch a campaign to communicate how food waste could power our communities
Across Wales, we recycle approximately half of all our food waste, but Recycle for Wales is on a quest to increase recycling levels to 70% by 2025, to meet Welsh Government national targets. Wales is currently the third best recycling nation in the world, but it could be first.
On average, in every waste bin in Wales, 25% of the waste is food that could be recycled and turned into energy to power local homes in Blaenau Gwent.
When Blaenau Gwent residents put their food waste recycling out each week to be collected by the council, it is taken to an anaerobic digestion processing facility in Avonmouth, where it is turned into energy and fed into the National Grid.
The recycled energy could also power community buildings. For example, if every Blaenau Gwent resident recycled one banana peel it could create enough energy to power a local school for over seventeen hours! Every single household produces food waste which can be recycled - egg shells, banana peels, meat bones, tea bags – these are just a few of the items that are described as ‘unavoidable food waste’.
This waste, if sent to landfill, produces a dangerous greenhouse gas, methane. If sent to anaerobic digestion, the methane can be harnessed, and turned into electricity.
For instance, 32 recycled banana peels could create enough energy to power a typical family home for an hour. Used tea bags, which are great examples of unavoidable food waste that can’t be eaten, can also create electricity. Just 22 recycled tea bags create enough energy to power a hoover for 10 minutes, and six tea bags can boil a kettle - how many cuppas do you make a week?
Councillor Garth Collier, Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Environment at Blaenau Gwent Council said: “We know that some people in Blaenau Gwent are recycling their food, which is great, but clearly there’s a lot more we can do. Every single thing we recycle can make a big difference to how much energy we can create for our local community, whilst helping Wales become the best recycling nation in the world. For example, if every Blaenau Gwent resident recycled one tea bag it could create enough energy to power Tredegar Leisure Centre for 16 hours. That is incredible!”
What can I recycle?
You can recycle any food, and all food waste – but no liquids please. Keep an eye out for these unavoidable food waste items as you’re cooking for the whole family:
- Chicken or meat bones
- Tea bags and coffee grounds
- Peels from fruit and vegetables
- Egg shells
- Plate scrapings
For more information, head to our Food Recycling page.
Your local service
All councils in Wales provide a convenient weekly food recycling service. All you’ll need is a kitchen caddy, a food recycling bin and a roll of liners to get started.
Select your council area on the map to order your bins and find out more about your local service.