Industry first as Biogen food waste to energy plant scores 'Excellent' for sustainability
Food waste recycling specialist Biogen has achieved a CEEQUAL ‘Excellent’ rating for its new state of the art anaerobic digestion plant near Baldock in Hertfordshire.
The £12m Bygrave anaerobic digestion (AD) plant scored top marks for improving sustainability in civil engineering, infrastructure, landscaping and the public realm.
The CEEQUAL ‘Whole Team Award’ made to Biogen, designers Rolton Group and constructors Toureen Group, is the first award of this kind for an AD plant in the UK.
The AD plant, on track to be operational by November, will process 45,000 tonnes of food waste each year from retailers, manufacturers and households to produce 2.2 MW of renewable electricity, enough to power 4,500 homes plus a nutrient rich biofertiliser for nearby farmland.
Sustainability features of the plant include:
- 14,000 trees planted to screen the plant, enhance the future landscape and once mature, to serve as food and habitat providers for birdlife.
- Embankments around the plant adapted to form beetle banks
- Perching posts installed for corn buntings, a bird species in decline, to encourage their return to the area.
- An overflow basin on site adapted in order to provide a pond habitat for amphibians and other wildlife.
Nigel Sheppard, Director of Projects said, “This is a fantastic achievement for Biogen and for the AD industry. During the planning and construction phases of the Bygrave plant our priority was to protect the environment and to enhance the natural landscape wherever possible.
“The majority of the site was initially considered to be of relatively low ecological value but now, as a result of our actions, we’ve actually succeeded in assisting the ecological diversity of the local area; we are absolutely delighted.”
Image shows some of the 14,000 trees planted at the Bygrave AD site in Hertfordshire.