Waste specialist Biffa has launched the UK’s first ‘super’ anaerobic digestion plant dealing with food waste near Cannock, Staffordshire.

The new facility, which is the biggest in the UK, will process up to 120,000 tonnes of food waste from homes and businesses a year, producing both enough renewable energy to power 6,000 homes and a soil improver that can be used in the same way as compost.

The facility will source segregated food waste from supermarkets, food and drink manufacturers, hotels, restaurants, caterers and homes, which will be delivered to the site from Biffa’s collection network.

It will process out-of-date unsaleable food from shops, food preparation waste and left-over food from cafés and restaurants, industrial food by-product solid and liquid waste from food and drink processing, and packaged food waste.

The biogas created by the plant is collected and used to generate electricity by three on-site gas turbines. The plant will be entirely self-sufficient, using the electricity generated from the biogas to power the plant.

Biffa chief executive Ian Wakelin said: “This is the future of waste. It is taking food that could once only be sent to landfill and turning it into something of value on a truly industrial scale.”