Improving waste management practices though a voluntary
grouping of seven local authorities in Northern Ireland.

Anaerobic Digestion


Anaerobic Digestion happens inside stainless steel or reinforced concrete vats. It uses micro-organisms to break down organic material, creating a biogas that can be used as a substitute for fossil fuels.

  • First, the mechanically recovered waste is mixed with water and then added, in batches, to the vats.
  • Inside the sealed vat a natural biological process occurs, leading to an increase in temperature which helps release methane gas from the material
  • The methane is captured and can be used to power an electricity generator or as a replacement fuel

Each batch takes approximately 30 days to complete and as each batch matures, a new one is added.

Mature batches are allowed to dry out, leaving a stable material which can be landfilled or turned into a useful Solid Recovered Fuel.

Anaerobic digestion has many benefits; it significantly reduces the amount of waste sent to landfill, it releases valuable energy and the end product – the stable material – has a much lower environmental impact than untreated waste.

Plus it can also be used as a fuel.

Supported by
  • Strategic Investment Board
  • Department of the Environment
© North West Region Waste Management Group
  • Ballymoney District Council
  • Coleraine District Council
  • Derry District Council
  • Limavady District Council
  • Magherafelt District Council
  • Moyle District Council
  • Strabane District Council