For sometime Stroud District Council has been exploring an opportunity to set up an anaerobic digester facility, which would take household and commercial food waste and convert it into a useable energy source - one possible site for such a facility is to the rear of the leisure centre at Stratford Park.
This could then help power the leisure centre - such a use would fit well with this technology and allow lower costs to the museum and centre, cut landfill and cut CO2 emissions.
The Council's press release notes that "the annual electricity demand for the leisure centre is in the region of 780,000 kWh which costs approximately £35,213 a year. It is estimated that an anaerobic digester could produce more than double this amount of electricity and generate a total income of just under £300,000 each year, from the sale of surplus electricity and the government's Feed in Tariff - and these would finance the project. The leisure centre would benefit from lower electricity costs, and the heat generated as a by-product of the electricity production process would also be used to heat the pool and the buildings."
People will be concerned about the location in our wonderful park but I do believe it can be sensitively sited - I look forward to seeing the next stage of the plans - such projects have got to be the way forward and hopefully means it is less likely the County will choose a monster incinerator.
The district's households currently produce close to 8,000 tonnes of food waste each year. Whilst household food waste would be the main fuel source for the digester, the district council is also keen to consider other sources, such as commercial food waste like supermarkets, but it is not looking at importing waste from outside the district as this could increase waste mileage from vehicles.