Posts tagged ‘digestate’

July 7th, 2012

Submission to the Department for Agriculture about Food Harvest 2020

Tipperary Farmland

Food Harvest 2020 Submission to the Irish Department of Agriculture, Forestry and the Marine

EOS Future Design

July 6th 2012

Proposal to Mitigate the Environmental Impact of the increase in Livestock Numbers resulting from Food Harvest 2020 by the Co-Digestion of Slurry with Food Waste.


If the increase in dairy production of 50% called for in Food Harvest 2020 is to have no net environmental impact the rollout of at least 1,000 rural Anaerobic Digesters is necessary to treat the extra slurry and other farm wastes generated to mitigate the greenhouse gas emissions and polluting run-off to waterbodies. In order for such farm- based digesters to be economically viable at current levels of government support it is necessary that they receive gate fees to co-digest food waste. Co-digestion of farm waste with food waste increases the energy content of the process and captures nutrients in the resulting digestate which reduces the need for artificial fertilisers. Developing large centralized scale Anaerobic Digesters (ADs) solely for food waste provides none of these environmental benefits. Without this integrated approach the impact of Harvest 2020 will be extremely damaging for the environment.

There are two alternative methods that could help fund farm based ADs to close the nutrient cycle and mitigate the environmental impacts of increased animal numbers that does not place a burden on the exchequer: A Quota system imposed on waste collectors through their Waste Collection Permit obliging them to divert a minimum amount of waste to rural ADs which co-digest with farm waste; or an Environmental Levy imposed on waste disposal and biowaste treatment technologies other than co-digestion with slurry. The levy would be collected by the waste facilities other than ADs co-digesting with slurry. The revenue could be used by Local Authorities to further mitigate the environmental impact of Harvest 2020.

Link to download the full report DAFM Submission AD, FH_2020