Waste food from Doncaster hospital is turned into electricity for 5,000 homes

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A bright spark idea to help power homes with waste food is proving to be anything but rubbish.

Leftover lunches and dinners from Doncaster Royal Infirmary are now being turned into electricity - which is being used to provide power to homes across the town.

Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust is working with national food waste recycling specialist ReFood on the unusual initiative.

Waste food from both patients and staff is placed in special bins before being collected by ReFood.

It is then used to generate electricity via digestion - a natural process that biologically breaks down organic material to generate large amounts of biogas, which is a combination of methane and carbon dioxide.

It works in a similar way as the good old-fashioned compost heap at the end of the garden, only on an industrial scale.

The electricity generated, which is sent directly to the national grid following generation, is 100 per cent green and will be used to power 5,000 homes across the region throughout the year.

Meanwhile the waste left over from the process to create electricity is used as a fertiliser and soil improver at local farms.

Ian Higgins, Environmental Project Manager for RDaSH, said: “Working with ReFood is a win-win situation.

“It means we don’t get food placed down the drains causing blockages, costing us money to resolve, and the waste comes in extremely useful, powering homes across Doncaster.”

Laura Moffatt, of ReFood, added: “We are delighted to be able to help RDaSH. This new partnership will help to streamline the organisation’s waste strategy, by recycling their food waste to create renewable energy and fertiliser. The fact we have helped them to do this while saving money is an added bonus.”