Portsmouth could see even bigger benefits from recycling food waste if the idea of a specialist recycling plant is progressed.

The council is currently trialling food waste recycling in parts of the city and the success seen means options are being looked at to offer it to the whole city.

During the trial Portsmouth's food waste is being sent to an anaerobic digestion plant in Bournemouth for treatment - it is converted to a biogas and a digestate, which can be used by farmers.

If the decision is taken to extend food waste recycling to the whole city, one option is for the council to build its own plant. This would be more environmentally friendly than transporting it further afield, as well as being much more cost effective.

Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, Leader of Portsmouth City Council said: "If we roll out the food waste trial across the city it would make sense for us to have the facilities to do the recycling ourselves. At the moment we're putting together a business case to see if the idea is feasible but if we can do it I think it would be a really positive thing for Portsmouth and the surrounding areas.

"Having a facility in the area would give local businesses and other organisations the opportunity to explore food waste recycling. The energy produced can be sold to energy providers. It also offers an opportunity for us to reduce our carbon footprint as well as improving our recycling rates."

There are 8,172 households in the current food waste trial and over 60% of residents are participating and regularly putting out their food waste caddy. In the first seven weeks 82.8 tonnes of waste have been diverted to food waste recycling, meaning nearly 20 per cent of black bag refuse for the trial areas is now being recycled.

Read more about the food waste trial.

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