Food Waste digester machine plan for Derry

Food waste is a heavy burden on Derry's rate payers, the council was told.
Food waste is a heavy burden on Derry's rate payers, the council was told.

The local council is to look at installing a new Anaerobic Digester to deal with food waste in the north-west.

Derry City & Strabane District Council unanimously backed a call for a scoping study to be carried out into the feasibility of having a small-scale Anaerobic digester.

Sinn Fein Councillor Colly Kelly proposed the move at the full council meetingin the Guildhall last week.

Colr. Kelly further proposed that the council run “an awareness raising programme with the aim of reducing the amount of food being wasted and of reducing the amount of food going to landfill.”

Colr. Kelly detailed how food waste came with a huge environmental price tag and was “one of the biggest causes of greenhouse gases.” He also warned that in terms of landfill it was costing £82 per ton and even composting the waste caused £70 per ton, while all public authorities had been set strict targets for reducing waste.

“Derry City and Strabane District has a lot of room for improvement,” he said.

An Aerobic Digestion involves the breaking down of biodegradable material, with the resulting energy used for heating and electricity.

DUP Councillor Thomas Kerrigan welcomed the proposal, and said waste to landfill was responsible for”one of the biggest strains on our rate payers”. He added that he and his colleagues would be happy to join a visit of local examples of digesters.

SDLP Councillor Gus Hastings said: “This council is on record as moving towards a zero waste policy and I think an Anaerobic digester is a step in the right direction.”