Food waste innovation is circular economy in action - Poots

Date published: 11 March 2022

Environment Minister Edwin Poots has attended the launch of Northern Ireland's first circular solution waste-to-energy transport fleet.

Environment Minister Edwin Poots pictured with Ashley McCulla Chairman McCulla (Ireland) Limited at the wheel of the one of the new vehicles.

The innovation by McCulla (Ireland) Limited provides a waste to energy solution to fuel McCulla’s transportation fleet. McCulla have achieved this by extending their existing Anaerobic Digestion Plant in Lisburn further to allow them to produce compressed bio-methane on site which will then be used as a bio-fuel.

At the launch Minister Poots said: “I welcomes this innovative and exciting initiative by McCulla Transport to power its fleet which is also very timely this Food Waste Action Week.

“This is a prime example of the circular economy at work. In this case, compressed bio-methane produced from waste food is being used to power the vehicles that deliver food to the very supermarkets whose waste was used to produce the bio-fuel in the first place.”

The Minister added: “This waste to energy recovery makes a very positive contribution to society. This initiative demonstrates how business needs and environmental needs can complement each other for mutual benefit.

“Northern Ireland’s transition to a circular economy will undoubtedly be a cornerstone of achieving reductions in carbon emissions as well as contributing to our net zero ambitions. This will help us deliver a greener, low carbon and circular economy for Northern Ireland and contribute towards my Green Growth Strategy and our new climate legislation.”

Speaking at the launch Ashley McCulla said: “We are extremely proud to introduce Northern Ireland’s first circular economy waste-to-energy transport fleet. Through collaborative partnerships we collect food waste from our customers and process it through our anaerobic digester plant to produce energy. This includes electricity for our cold stores and bio-methane gas for our trucks. These trucks reduce CO2 emissions by 93% in comparison to diesel. We also supply bio-fertiliser to local farms to grow more food. It really is a full circle process that reduces waste to an absolute minimum right across our supply chain.”

The Minister concluded: “I would also like to encourage everyone to take a few small steps at home over the next few to support Food Waste Action Week.”

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