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Truck driving through field

Aarhus will convert food waste into fuel and fertilizer

Aarhus will convert food waste into fuel and fertilizer

Aarhus’ new waste plan will protect our climate by turning food waste into energy and fertilizer

People living in the Danish municipality of Aarhus will have to sort their food waste starting in 2023. In doing so, they will work towards protecting the environment since sorted food waste will be used for fuel in trucks and fertilizer in the fields.

Technological advancements

On the municipal website, the city reports that a 2018 study found that food waste accounts for 40% of household waste in Aarhus. Now, advancements in technology have made it possible for food waste to be collected, sorted, and used to help save the planet.

In a press release, councillor Bünyamin Simsek commented: “When we sort, we recycle more for the benefit of the environment, and we make better use of our resources. That is why it makes very good sense for us to spend more effort on sorting when technology gives us such good opportunities to use virtually all the collected food waste for products that benefit the environment.”

The process

Aarhus Municipality explained the process whereby food waste will be converted into energy and fertilizer. First, they noted, the sorted food waste will be picked up from households in Aarhus. Then, it will be taken to a pre-treatment plant which will ensure that sorting has been done correctly.

Following this, the waste will be transported to a biogas plant where bacteria will convert the organic waste into biogas. This will then be purified and made into pure methane before being sent to the gas network.

Thus, the gas will be stored and used for fuel. This process will allow Aarhus to preserve the environment and protect the climate as the converted waste will replace diesel altogether. Moreover, the municipality explained that once the biogas is extracted from the waste, there will be a residual product: fertilizer.

It is important to note that Aarhusians have shown great initiative and expressed their interest in protecting the environment. In fact, in a 2019 survey on waste, 55% of Aarhusians claimed that they would be willing to recycle and sort food waste.

Now, Aarhus’ Waste Plan will allow them to do so. Commenting on this, Simsek said, “When the citizens want to do something good for the climate, we as a municipality must do what we can to give them the right opportunities.”

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