Launch of ReFood brings new energy to food recycling sector
PDM Group, the UK’s leading food waste recycler, and SARIA Bio-Industries, one of Europe’s leading food-chain recycling businesses are collaborating on the launch of a new business which will revolutionise the UK’s anaerobic digestion (AD) sector. Known as ReFood, the collaboration will combine SARIA’s market-leading technology expertise in operating AD facilities and PDM’s UK food waste recycling capabilities – creating UK’s most advanced and comprehensive food recycling network.
The launch of ReFood brings a nationwide AD operation to the UK, based on the successful collection and recycling model already operated by SARIA across Germany. Currently, there are four ReFood plants operating in Germany – fed by a network of 14 logistics centres which collect waste from 60,000 points across the country.
Once fully operational, the ReFood UK network will work in a similar manner to that of its German counterpart, with collection points located across the country, supported by a network of AD plants. Planning permission has already been granted for the first ReFood UK AD plant, based at PDM’s head office in Doncaster. Once in place, the new facility will be able to handle around 45,000 tonnes of food waste per year, creating two megawatts of renewable electricity and heat per hour as a result of the AD recycling process.
Philip Simpson, commercial services director at PDM, believes that ReFood will take anaerobic digestion technology in the UK to a new level. He comments: “As a nation, we are lagging behind our European counterparts when it comes to both food waste recycling and AD technology needed to handle it.”
“PDM’s collaboration with SARIA will bring industrial scale recycling capabilities to the UK, dramatically increasing both scale and scope while also meaning that, as a nation, we will have no excuses not to embrace the benefits of food waste recycling. The ReFood technology is very advanced compared to what’s already operating in the UK,” he continued. “Whereas the existing systems already operational in the UK have either been designed to handle sewage waste or agricultural wastes, ReFood’s plants have been purposely designed and built to handle food wastes. As a result, the ReFood system is able to focus on recycling greater quantities of this type of material,” adds Simpson.
Franz Bernhard Thier, member of the board of SARIA Bio-Industries, adds: “ReFood has been operating on an industrial scale successfully in Germany for a number of years. We’re delighted to be teaming up with PDM to bring both our areas of expertise together to create an offering that is really going to support food waste recycling and renewable energy generation in the UK.”
ReFood UK adds to PDM’s comprehensive portfolio of food recycling solutions, which already includes rendering, biomass-to-energy, pet food ingredients and now anaerobic digestion.