At a recent meeting of its Energy Advisory Panel, Stroud District Council presented a study which showed that the scheme was entirely feasible. At that time, it gained cross-party support. Unfortunately, Gloucestershire County Council (GCC), which currently deals with Stroud's food waste, is blocking the plan.
Stroud District Councillor Simon Pickering (Slade ward) said: “A digester would allow the council to deal with its own green waste, it would bring in a significant annual income to the council, it would provide free heating for Stratford Park, the museum and Stroud College, as well as heating for the outdoor pool. The plan could potentially also save the county council money, so we believe that it is perverse that they are blocking the plan.”
Based on council figures, Stroud District Green Party believes an anaerobic digester would save the district council £470,000 annually. GCC would pay the district council an additional £100,000 to collect food waste. Meanwhile, GCC could save £640,000 per year, mostly in landfill fees.
Green Party County Councillor Sarah Lunnon (Stroud East) said: “With potential savings for both councils of over £1.2 million and energy generated from waste that would otherwise end up in landfill, we believe this plan makes economic and environmental sense."
The plan for an AD plant was made public in a blog by Independent councillor Andy Reed - see here. It does seem right as the figures have been calculated and discussed and the public should have their say. It seems extraordinary that the County is blocking a plan that clearly economically benefits local people and cuts CO2 emissions. It is time for a debate.