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We’re using pumpkin power to heat homes this Halloween

We’re pleased to say that here at Warrens Group we will be using leftover pumpkins this Halloween to fuel our growing fleet of collection vehicles whilst also heating people’s homes.

Our Commercial Director, Kevin Quigley, has confirmed that more than 10 tonnes of perfectly edible pumpkins are likely to end up at our recycling plant in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham. That’s almost the equivalent weight of a London double-decker bus!

Nationally, environmental charity Hubbub, predicts an estimated 12.8 million pumpkins will be wasted in the UK this year*.

Quigley said: “After Halloween is over, most pumpkins are thrown into landfill or on a compost heap. That is a lot of waste when they could be turned into something much more sustainable, such as renewable energy.

“At Warrens Group, we use our fleet of collection vehicles to gather food waste. From there, the pumpkin waste is placed in our anaerobic digesters which are filled with bacteria that then breaks it down.

“As the pumpkins decompose, they release methane gas which can then be turned into an environmentally-friendly fuel. We use this to fuel our vehicles and the rest goes to the National Grid to heat people’s homes with clean energy.

“It’s interesting to think about how much energy can be generated on pumpkin waste alone. For example, 10 tonnes of pumpkin waste five days a week could be enough to generate electricity to power 100 homes. It’s a much better alternative than if they were sitting in a landfill site.”

Quigley added that the remainder of the pumpkin waste can also be used as fertiliser by farmers on next year’s crops.

He said: “We do have an alternative for pumpkin waste, so if we can use all of the discarded pumpkins from Halloween to power our vehicles and homes, then why not? It’s a lot more cost-effective and energy efficient and will help businesses to reduce their carbon footprint at the same time.

“Our biomethane filling station is capable of fuelling 200 vehicles per day and it guarantees no losses in transmissions of gas from conversion to filling. The trucks rely on biomethane gas and generate 84% less carbon dioxide than diesel.”

We’re pleased to say that we’ve helped local authorities, schools and businesses from a wide range of sectors over the years develop a more sustainable approach to waste management. We were also one of the first food waste recycling companies in the UK to power our HGV waste collection vehicles with biogas converted directly from our own food waste customers.

Quigley added: “Our objectives have always been to remain industry leaders, driving change from traditional fossil fuel to biogas, minimising our carbon footprint through prevention and redistribution. Our solution is one with longevity and reduced impact in comparison to environmental issues caused by traditional methods of food waste disposal.”