FROM LOCAL FOOD WASTE TO LOCAL ENERGY TO HELP POWER SWANSEA
In 2017, Swansea residents recycled enough to power Liberty Stadium for 5 years
With over 70% of people in Wales now saying that they are recycling their food waste, Wales is well ahead of the game when it comes to food recycling. Welsh residents are also the world’s third best recyclers, but Recycle for Wales believes that we could be number one, just by being more aware of all the items they can recycle.
Whilst most people in Swansea are avid food recyclers, some people believe that they don’t produce any food waste. But whether we believe it or not, we all produce a certain amount of food waste that can’t be eaten, but can be recycled. ‘Unavoidable’ food waste items, such as tea bags, egg shells, meat bones, and fruit & veg peelings can all be recycled and turned into electricity. Just 22 recycled tea bags generates 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?
Food waste that goes into the general rubbish bin is sent to landfill where it rots and produces the harmful greenhouse gas, methane. However, when recycled, it is taken to an anaerobic digestion plant in Bridgend where the methane is harnessed, turned into electricity and fed into the National Grid. Last year, Swansea’s local anaerobic digestion plant in Bridgend, Agrivert, recycled enough food waste to power approximately 6000 homes for the whole year!
Angela Spiteri from Recycle for Wales said: “We know that most people in Swansea are recycling their food, which is great, but there is clearly still a lot more we can do. Every single thing we recycle can make a big difference to how much renewable energy we can create to power homes and communities in Swansea, whilst helping Wales become the best recycling nation in the world.”
What can I recycle?
You can recycle any food, and all food waste – but no liquids please. Keep an eye out for these food waste items as you’re cooking at home:
- Chicken or meat bones
- Tea bags and coffee grounds
- Peels from fruit and vegetables
- Egg shells
- Plate scrapings and out of date food
For more information, head to our food waste page.