Central Bedfordshire Council

Central Bedfordshire Food Recycling

Biogen working in partnership with Central Bedfordshire Council collecting from 54,500 homes.

Biogen and Central Bedfordshire Council began working together in 2007 as part of WRAP’s (Waste & Resources Action Programme) research into the separate collection of food waste encompassing Biogen’s pioneering involvement in anaerobic digestion (AD). Following a successful trial of the scheme, Biogen bid for and secured a 5-year contract in 2008 and continues to work with the Council to this day. The food waste is recycled at Biogen’s AD facilities in Bedfordshire & Northamptonshire.


Central Bedfordshire provides a weekly food waste collection service by means of a 5-litre kitchen caddy, using either biodegradable liners made of cornstarch or plastic liners and a brown 20-litre outside bin with a lockable lid. The food waste is collected in dedicated top-loading collection vehicles with an aluminium body, and delivered directly by the Council to the Twinwoods AD plant in Bedfordshire and Westwood AD plant in Northamptonshire.  At the AD plant, the food waste is recycled to generate renewable electricity, enough to power 350 homes for an entire year. What’s left from the process is a liquid biofertiliser rich in nutrients which is used on local farmland.

“We started working with Biogen in 2007 with an initial trial collecting food waste from 620 households. The trial was a resounding success and has since been rolled out across the north of Central Bedfordshire collecting from 54,500 homes. We have developed a good close working relationship and generally everything works smoothly and according to plan. The monthly data we receive is very useful for engaging with residents and encouraging them to use the scheme.”   Tracey Harris, Head of Waste Services, Central Bedfordshire Council 

Improving recycling rates

Since the spring of 2014, Central Bedfordshire has been working with WRAP on a project to improve the performance of its food waste collection service. This has involved supplying plastic liners to households, delivering an updated leaflet on the service and placing a sticker on the residual bin to promote food waste recycling.  Biogen has worked with the Council throughout the project, supporting them with information on AD and supplying data on recycling tonnages. Since the work began, food waste recycling levels have increased by 15%, thus reducing the amount of money Central Bedfordshire has spent on landfill disposal costs. Biogen is now planning to introduce similar measures with its other local authority customers.

Find out how you can enjoy significant cost savings and environmental benefits using our anaerobic digestion service over other disposal routes:

T: 0844 326 7241   

E: commercial@biogen.co.uk