Corn field

Barfoots has plans to open an AD plant in Basingstoke

The boss of one the UK’s fastest-expanding anaerobic digestion operations has slammed local authorities for their failure to join supermarkets in embracing “waste into energy” technology.

West Sussex vegetable grower Barfoots of Botley, which has announced plans to open a £5m AD plant in Basingstoke before Christmas, has won contracts with almost all of the major food retailers.

But MD Julian Marks said the technology, which breaks down food waste used to power Barfoots’ operations and also puts energy back into the National Grid, had been widely snubbed by councils.

“It’s a massive opportunity to divert these waste products from incineration and it’s something that, if the government followed the zero waste-to-landfill strategy of Scotland, would have a dramatic impact,” added Marks.

Sainsbury’s, a major proponent of the technology, was the first to use the original Barfoots AD site, in Chichester, West Sussex, which can create up to 2.3 MW per hour of energy from food waste. It has plans for a third plant in Selborne, Hampshire and is also considering at least three other sites.