Wensleydale Creamery waste to be turned into renewable energy to power 4,000 homes

Wensleydale Creamery

Waste whey from the Wensleydale Creamery in Hawes is to be turned into renewable energy.

The innovative move should supply energy to heat 4,000 North Yorkshire homes, as well as cutting carbon emissions for the Creamery.

The process has been used since the 19th century to capture natural gases created when food waste breaks down.

David Hartley, the managing director of the Wensleydale Creamery, said the project would bring sustainable environmental and economic benefits to the region.

He said: “The whole process of converting local milk to premium cheese and then deriving environmental and economic benefit from the natural by-products is an essential part of our business plan as a proud rural business.”

The firm produces 4,000 tonnes per annum of the cheese – which was awarded protected status by the EU in 2013 – at its dairy in Hawes in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales.

The Leeming bioenergy plant is one of nine across Yorkshire owned by sustainability investor Iona Capital, which estimates that it saves the equivalent of 37,300 tonnes of carbon emissions every year.

Mike Dunn, Iona’s co-founder, said: “Once we have converted the cheese by-product supplied by Wensleydale into sustainable green gas, we can feed what’s left at the end of the process on to neighbouring farmland to improve local topsoil quality.

“This shows the real impact of the circular economy and the part intelligent investment can play in reducing our carbon emissions.”

The Committee on Climate Change, the government’s official advisory body, has warned that food waste should not be allowed to sit in landfill, where it rots to produce carbon-rich methane.

Instead, unavoidable food waste should undergo anaerobic digestion to create a natural gas that can displace the fossil fuels used for heating or electricity generation.

The net-zero carbon ambition will also require heavy carbon-cutting from manufacturers and farmers.

1 Comment

  1. How much CO will the lorries produce trundling up and down the Dale, transporting this whey between Hawes and Northallerton.

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