Tackling the waste mountain by generating energy

  • 4 investments
  • 4,100
  • £23.4M

The UK has a serious problem with waste and a growing demand for energy

Creating energy from waste therefore solves two issues at once: it provides power without burning new fossil fuels; and offers a way to dispose of some of the growing piles of unrecyclable waste without resorting to landfill.

We’re all familiar with the 3Rs: reduce, reuse, recycle. People are already quite good at the last of these, and we’re getting better at the first two thanks to the momentum behind the recent anti-plastic movement.

But as a country, we still send around 12 million tonnes of rubbish to landfill each year, with a further 3.6 million tonnes exported to European countries. And some types of waste — like black plastic food containers or old car dashboards — simply can’t be economically recycled.

It’s a dirty problem which needs new and innovative solutions.

Abundance customers have backed a number of projects from pioneering businesses tackling this issue — ranging from creating biofuels from whisky residues, to recycling an old coal-fired power station to run on sustainable energy pellets made from organic waste and residual waste plastic.

“Waste and the transition to low carbon energy are two of the most important infrastructure needs of the next two decades. The consensus is clear about the goal, and we need to invest practically to achieve it in the time we have left to make a difference. Our waste problem is no longer something that we can bury or ship abroad but one we need to face head on and deal with at home.”

Bruce Davis, Abundance