FAQs - the public

Frequently asked questions

How will AD benefit me?

First and foremost: it can save you money. Who doesn’t like that? And while you’re saving that money, you’re also investing in the future: profiting now while protecting tomorrow. For full details, click here.

How do I use my food caddy?

Food waste collection rules vary between areas, and it’s generally best to check with your council. However, most collection services take any raw or uneaten food, but not packaging. You can also consider composting your food waste, or feeding suitable scraps to pets, neither of which involve any transport miles at all.

What can I do if they don’t have separate collections in my area?

Have a look here for some actions you can take.

If I have an AD plant in my area, won’t it be noisy? Wouldn’t it smell?

AD plants only get a permit from the Environment Agency if they meet criteria designed to help prevent nuisances, such as noise and odour.

Is food waste the only material AD plants use?

No, AD plants also process your sewage (and have done for decades), plus farm slurries, manures, and crops grown especially for AD plants.

I’ve heard that growing crops for AD reduces the amount of land for food production. Isn’t that a waste?

The growing of break crops as part of an agricultural rotation is a proven farming method, used to improve soil quality and food production, and reduce the need for pesticides. AD often uses (among other things) those break crops which may otherwise just be wasted. In fact, Defra held a workshop in 2011 which concluded that even if AD grew beyond our wildest expectations, it would have no significant negative impact on food production.

Bioenergy is essential to the UK economy, saving us £44bn off the cost of decarbonising our energy system. It allows increased sustainability and profitability from our existing land, while also generating renewable energy, and helping us meet our carbon reduction targets. AD represents one of the best forms of bioenergy we have, because it complements and supports food production, as well as recycling the nutrients. You can read more about this here and here.

Isn’t this all just some pie-in-the-sky plan?

Tell that to Waitrose, or Coca-Cola, or McCain. Waitrose now send all their food waste to AD facilities, to generate power for the national grid; Coca-Cola demonstrated they could reduce their fuel costs by almost 13% and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by over 50%, when they trialled biomethane in their vehicles; and McCain are now completely energy self-sufficient, with their own on-site AD plant. If these companies have taken AD seriously, that’s a good sign that AD is effective and efficient, right now.

If you are still scratching your head about AD then please feel free to send us a question