Energy & Recycling

Published: December 14, 2021 | Updated: December 15, 2021

Dried food waste from global electric off-road racing series is to generate renewable energy

Tidy Planet’s Huw Crampton and Andy Welch, of Extreme E, with the food waste drying equipment at Bovington.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

Dried food waste from a global electric off-road racing sport series taking place in Dorset this weekend is to be used for renewable energy.

Parley-based Eco Sustainable Solutions has partnered with organic waste solutions firm Tidy Planet on the initiative.

The globe-trotting Extreme E is holding its Season 1 finale – ‘the Jurassic X Prix’ – at the MoD’s Bovington army base on December 18 and 19.

The series has seen electric SUVs competing in some of the world’s most remote locations to promote the adoption of electric vehicles and clean technology solutions in the quest for a lower carbon future for the planet.

For the final leg of the racing voyage in Dorset, Tidy Planet is providing the Extreme E crew with food waste drying technology.

This will remove the moisture and sterilise the material – transforming it into a coffee-granule-like powder – so it can be stored safely for months on end and transported without rotting or smelling.

The end-product will then be taken 12 miles northwest of Bovington to Eco’s anaerobic digestion plant in Piddlehinton, where it will be turned into biogas and converted into renewable energy.

Once processed, Eco will be able to calculate how many kilowatts of electricity the resulting food waste equates to.

Tristan Dampney, Eco’s Marketing Manager, pictured, said: “We’re a family-run firm that’s been established for over 28 years – seeing us recycle over 250,000 tonnes per year of organic waste from Dorset, Hampshire, and Wiltshire.

“We’re passionate about the environment and creating sustainable solutions that reduce landfill and have a positive impact on our planet.

“Being a part of this pioneering sporting event is a great fit for us, as we process waste to create the energy source the Extreme E vehicles require – electricity.”

Huw Crampton, Sales Manager, Tidy Planet, said: “It’s a fantastic opportunity to be supporting Extreme E with their Dorset event.

“We’re experienced in providing this kind of equipment to remote locations all over the world, from oilfields in Azerbaijan to luxury island resorts in the Maldives.

“We know that food waste is tricky to store and treat in such challenging environments, particularly those with high temperatures.

“Due to the lack of infrastructure to process it in such remote places, it’s better to have a product that you can store safely and wait until it’s possible to move all the material in bulk.”

Extreme E’s global voyage started in March this year and has included stops in Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Greenland and Sardinia.

Some of the biggest names in motorsport are involved with teams owned by Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button and Nico Rosberg among others.

Andy Welch, Extreme E’s Utility Manager, said: “Sustainability and environmental care are deeply important to Extreme E.

“After all, the purpose behind the series is to raise awareness of climate issues.

“At the Dorset event, we’re aiming to reduce waste where possible.

“All staff will bring their own reusable plates and cups.

“Where it’s not possible, we want to implement closed loop solutions with the smallest possible carbon footprint.

“For the UK event, we have the ideal infrastructure close to the race.

“But when we travel abroad this isn’t always the case – meaning we can’t guarantee that the waste won’t end up in landfill.

“This is something we wanted to change.

“We know that if we bring the material back with us, we can ensure it isn’t landfilled.

“But we needed a way to help us hold on to over three weeks’ worth of food waste, hence the call to Tidy Planet.”

To minimise local impact, Extreme E races are not open to spectators.

Instead fans are invited to follow the racing through live TV broadcasts, and on social media.