Business Secretary Vince Cable opens pioneering food waste plant in Dagenham

Vince Cable with senior contracts manager Sam Smith (pic: Paul Bennett)

Vince Cable with senior contracts manager Sam Smith (pic: Paul Bennett) - Credit: Archant

The capital’s first anaerobic digestion waste recycling plant was opened in Dagenham this morning by Business Secretary Vince Cable.

Vince Cable with senior contracts manager Sam Smith (pic: Paul Bennett)

Vince Cable with senior contracts manager Sam Smith (pic: Paul Bennett) - Credit: Archant

The 4.7-acre site forms part of the 60-acre London Sustainable Industries Park (LSIP) in Dagenham Dock and is set to produce 1.4MW a year - enough to power 2,000 homes - which will be sold to the National Grid.

Vince Cable with senior contracts manager Sam Smith (pic: Paul Bennett)

Vince Cable with senior contracts manager Sam Smith (pic: Paul Bennett) - Credit: Archant

While visiting the park Mr Cable also opened a new £12million line at the world-leading Closed Loop recycling plant, making it the biggest recycler of milk bottles in the world.

Vince Cable with senior contracts manager Sam Smith (pic: Paul Bennett)

Vince Cable with senior contracts manager Sam Smith (pic: Paul Bennett) - Credit: Archant

He insists today’s openings are good news for both Dagenham and Greater London as a whole.

“Dagenham’s a relatively deprived area so it’s great to see the investment, growth and regeneration involved in projects like this.


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“There are huge investment opportunities for energy from waste across London, but we need to find the land to build the plants.”

By processing up to 50,000 tonnes of food and green waste that might have otherwise gone to landfill, the £21million plant will also produce 14,000 tonnes of compost and 36,000 tonnes of fertiliser annually for agricultural use.

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The plant is owned by green energy group by TEG, with waste so far arriving from Tower Hamlets and Greenwich plus a number of North London boroughs, with Barking and Dagenham Council yet to sign up to the scheme.

Experts estimate 20 similar plants will be needed to cope with the level of food waste across London, with other sites already being scouted.

Chief executive of TEG Michael Fishwick is delighted to see the plant in action.

He said: “The site is perfect, with good access and transport infrastructure on the doorstep and the local authority were very welcoming and accommodating.”

The process involves the breakdown of organic materials, such as kitchen and garden waste from homes and business, using natural bacteria to produce renewable energy in the form of biogas and agricultural produce.

The investment at Closed Loop will increase capacity at the plant to 55,000 tonnes a year, creating the most advanced plastics purification facility in the UK and bringing in 50 new jobs.

The process will also divert 30,000 tonnes of carbon emissions.

Mr Cable added: “The significant investment in the Dagenham plant will also mean less of our plastic bottles being sent to landfill or exported for recycling.

“It is precisely the sort of project which can support the UK’s transition to a green economy.”

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