We launched the GreenHouse at Mermaid Quay this week and some of the first visitors through the door were Lars Ebertsson and the team from BioNova, the company that supplied the organic waste digester that allows us to create the soil enhancer that we are using in the GreenHouse.
Lars originally developed the digester technology in his native Sweden and continues to work on improvements to the process that turns raw organic waste into digestate, a dry combustible material, in just 24hrs.
The BioNova team has worked closely with Mermaid Quay centre manager Justin Patel in getting the system up and running at Mermaid Quay.
The digestion process reduces the weight and volume of the waste by 70%, so that it can be transported off site in a more environmentally friendly way, with fewer vehicle movements. It also eradicates any potential issues of smell and vermin that can be associated with storing untreated food waste while it waits to be collected.
The digestate can be used as a soil enhancer. We are already using it in the planters around Mermaid Quay and now in the GreenHouse. In the future, we plan to donate it to local gardeners and community groups. If you would be interested in this, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Even more excitingly, the digestate also has potential applications as a high energy biomass fuel and our long term aim is to use it to create heat and to heat water used in the restaurants, cafés and bars here on site.