The government is to fund five new anaerobic digestion projects which will generate energy from organic waste.

The grants are being awarded under the £10 million Defra Anaerobic Digestion Demonstration Programme. It is hoped that the technology will highlight the benefits of anaerobic digestion to a range of industries and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Environment secretary Hilary Benn said that the initiative was part of a wider issue about how the UK deals with waste. “We must see it as a resource, not a problem, " said Benn.

“In the UK we produce 100 million tonnes of food and other organic waste every year that we could be using to create enough heat and energy to run over two million homes.

“This new technology will provide a source of renewable energy while reducing methane emissions from agriculture and landfill by diverting organic waste, especially food waste, from landfill.

Anaerobic digestion breaks down organic matter, such as animal manure and food waste, to produce biogas.

The successful applicants for funding from the Anaerobic Digestion Demonstration Programme:

  • Biocycle South Shropshire
  • Blackmore Vale Dairies
  • GWE Biogas Ltd
  • Staples Vegetables
  • United Utilities and National Grid