Food Waste

GENeco: Our Going for Gold sponsor

By Heidi Rose

GENeco is a Bristol-based company who specialise in recycling food waste and is one of the Going for Gold sponsors. Bioresources Adviser Heidi Rose shares what she loves about working there and how they are striving for a greener Bristol. With a background in waste management, Heidi has seen first-hand the throw-away culture our society has developed and wants to actively drive change and be part of the solution.

Heidi Rose

Bristol is aiming to be crowned a Gold Sustainable Food City by 2020 and we are backing them all the way! Sustainability has been at the forefront of our minds since GENeco launched in 2009, and it therefore seemed like a natural fit for us to become a Going for Gold sponsor, especially with food waste being one of the Key Action Areas for the bid.

Based over in Avonmouth, we have our very own food waste and water treatment facility in which we process over 700,000 tonnes of waste per year. As a zero waste to landfill company, we operate as a circular economy; we utilise what most deem as “waste” to generate green energy and biogas which is used to power UK homes and a biofertilizer which is used on local agricultural fields. Even our offices are green, we are powered by the biogas produced on site, we are home to lots of wind turbines, trees, wildflower gardens and a huge composting pad. We also have a fleet of electric vans and charging points for our staff to use.

Back in 2015, we launched the Bio-Bus (aka the Poo Bus). Yes, that’s correct, a bus fuelled entirely with human poo! We know it sounds weird, but it worked! Four years on, Bristol council has just launched a fleet of Metro buses, all running on the same biogas, therefore reducing harmful CO2 emissions in Bristol’s atmosphere. It’s amazing to see what a small idea can turn into isn’t it?

Now, let us introduce our pride and joy: The Bio-Bee! Launched in 2017, the Bio-Bee is our very own carbon neutral food waste collection vehicle which we use to collect food waste from fantastic businesses in and around Bristol. Bees are renowned for the enrichment they bring the planet, and their daily routine involves collecting valuable natural resources and then bringing them back to a hive to make renewable and nutritious products, exactly what the Bio-Bee does! We designed the Bee to encourage people to get excited about recycling their unwanted food and with a view to making the process fun, easy and sustainable (and we believe we have achieved exactly that!). Once collected on the Bee, the food waste is brought across to Avonmouth and treated in our own Anaerobic Digestion plant. The gas produced from the Anaerobic Digestion process is then used to power the Bio-Bee itself, therefore being making it a totally self-sufficient process and a UK first. When you compare this with (sadly) more conventional diesel waste collection vehicles, it’s a no brainer for us that this is the way forward for Bristol and the rest of the UK.

If you’re a Bristol based business who doesn’t yet recycle their food waste, there is no better time to start! If you’d like any tips on getting started or would like us to help, we’re always happy to have a chat and see what we can offer you, just pop us an email or drop us a line. Likewise, if you’re living in Bristol and want to start recycling food waste from your home, what’re you waiting for? We promise you, it’s much easier than you think. Help us help Bristol achieve Gold in this fantastic and inspiring campaign and don’t let food go to waste!

Join the conversation

So, what change do you want to see happen that will transform food in Bristol by 2030? Do you already have an idea for how Bristol can make this happen? Join the conversation now.

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