Following Rockfire’s earlier study of food waste, it is heartening to see that Oxford-based Agrivert has been forging ahead with the completion of anaerobic digestion plants in South Wales and North London.  These two plants represent 40% of Agrivert’s total portfolio and were completed at lightning speed in order to obtain maximum benefit from the government feed-in-tariffs before they were phased out for plants producing more than 1MW. The two facilities were completed in just nine months and will bring Agrivert’s total treatment capacity to a quarter of a million tonnes. That’s still nearly 500 swimming pools’ of food, using Wrap’s favourite measure.
The Agrivert plant at Bridgend, opened at the start of this month, is the largest anaerobic digestion facility in Wales. The facility cost £14m to build and will produce power equivalent to the needs of 5,900 homes. It generates its own renewable heat as well as methane gas for connection to the grid and a digestate that will be used by local farmers as a fertiliser.
With this facility operational, Wales is now recycling 60% of its food waste each year, up from 4% in the year 2000. The Welsh Government has set a target of 70% for 2025.
Agrivert started life in 1994 as a waste water treatment operator, converting the sludge from sewage into fertiliser. It remains active in the area of waste water and offers a number of additional services such as in-vessel composting. In July this year, its West London anaerobic digestion plant won the AD & Bioresources Association award for ‘Best food waste AD plant’ for the second year running.
It is not likely that Agrivert will continue to expand at the frenetic pace of 2016 now that the subsidies have been removed but if DEFRA’s dream of a 5Mt treatment capacity by 2020 stands a chance of being realised, they and others like them will have to keep up the good work.
 Agrivert completes two AD plants in ‘record’ time
 Waste and Resources Action Programme
 The food we waste is now generating electricity and being turned into fertiliser at a new £14m plant
 AD Biogas Awards