The Environment Agency and WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme) have devised a new Quality Protocol (QP) which will reduce the amount of regulation involved in using digestate, the nutrient-rich by-product of biogas production through Anaerobic Digestion.
Anaerobic Digestion is an increasingly popular renewable energy technology which can generate clean electricity and heating using organic and food waste diverted from landfill. The process, which creates biogas through the oxygen starved bacterial breakdown of organic material, also produces a solid or liquid residue called digestate, which is an organic fertilizer.
Producers and users of digestate are currently obliged to pay waste regulation charges on its handling, transport and application, as it is derived from waste. However compliance with the new QP will make digestate a product, not a waste, meaning waste regulation charges no longer apply.
As well as providing users with greater confidence in the digestate, this further encourages the operation of AD facilities and makes its valuable by-product cheaper and easier for businesses and the agricultural community to use.
Martin Brocklehurst, Head of Environment Protection External Programmes at the Environment Agency, said:
“By clearly defining the standards required to collect, transport, store, recycle and reuse source-segregated biodegradable waste, a Quality Protocol for AD could save businesses the time and costs associated with meeting waste regulations, without harming human health and the environment.”
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Posted under Waste Management and Food and Drink on 25 September 2009