Ploermel community. What if you made green gas with your food waste?

Ploermel Community

Published on January 4, 2023

Rising energy prices, increasingly strict environmental restrictions, rising waste treatment costs… All these elements force us to rethink our habits as research progresses and new technological solutions are discovered. Our food waste, which is increasingly costly to process, can thus be turned into low-carbon energy sources. Until now, this waste goes into black bags to be finally incinerated. They make up 30% of our household waste… However, these biowastes are easily renewable and there is some urgency to find solutions. From January 1, 2024, the Anti-Waste Act for the Circular Economy will make it mandatory to sort…

Last year, GRDF launched a call for projects aimed at local authorities to find solutions for the recovery of food waste during methanation. The Ploërmel community and SITTOM-Mi, an inter-municipal waste management association in the center of Morbihan, were the winners of this project call. The idea is to make households living in urban centers aware of the interest in food waste recycling. The principle of the operation is to convince them to put their bio-waste in special containers. This waste will then be sorted to remove plastic materials, for example transported to the Locminé methanation plant, where it will be converted into “green gas”. This 100% renewable gas will then be injected into the grid operated by GRDF. There are currently two containers that can receive this biological waste, one in Josselin and the other in Ploërmel. The other two will be launched in 2023. They are primarily intended for food professionals, but the idea is to encourage individuals to use them.

The agreement signed this Wednesday morning between Stéphane Rouault, mayor of Guillac, vice-president of the Ploërmel environmental community, and SITTOM-Mi and David Colin, territorial director of GRDF Bretagne, aims to increase communication and awareness among local households. The goal is ambitious because it is neither more nor less than creating new behaviors among residents. This effort is important because households will receive visits from eco-ambassadors and then they will benefit from telephone support.

“We understand very well that we are still at the beginning and there is still a long way to go. But we have to provide solutions for those who don’t have the space to make compost,” emphasizes Stéphane Rouault. This operation is also of financial interest to the community, and therefore to the taxpayers, as it will reduce the amount of waste produced in the area. Here again, we should not get carried away: the increase in waste collection and processing costs is inexorable, but it can be limited by measures like these. Especially since the potential is far from insignificant. About 10,000 tons per year in the SITTOM-Mi area (including 1,635 tons in the community of Ploermel) could be recovered, which would heat 250 houses or provide 4 buses per year.

“In fact, everyone participates in energy production by reducing the amount of waste. Currently, 4% of gas is decarbonized. This percentage may reach 13% in 2027 and should reach 100% in 2050…”, recalls David Colin.

For Stéphane Rouault, the initiative is part of the desire of the community of Ploërmel to be an example in this field of energy transition. In 2021, the bioNGV station was commissioned in Ploermel. It is supplied by the Pontivy methanation plant, which will receive food waste from the community of Ploermel. The latter has also started to change its car park. A CNG van has already been purchased and in a few weeks the buses of the RIV network will run on biomethane. “Residents will cycle through the energy generated by food scraps. With this experience, we want to enable users to become real players in the ecological transition by taking responsibility for managing their waste and contributing to the production of renewable energies. From plate to transport, we create a virtuous cycle of energy”, analyzes Stéphane Rouault.

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