AD driving organics recycling sector growth

27th September 2012

Anaerobic digestion (AD) is driving growth in the UK organics recycling industry, according to the latest survey of the sector published by WRAP today.

WRAP’s comprehensive study of the sector for the calendar year 2010 shows that growth in the number of permitted AD sites (48 in 2010) saw the total input of organic waste processed via AD top the one million tonnes mark.


At the same time, composting input volumes showed some growth with a total input of 5.44 million tonnes in 2010, up by 3.9% on the 2009 survey. Although agriculture remains the largest market for compost, increasing volumes are also going to higher value uses such as professional horticulture and landscaping, with indications that PAS 100 certification is enabling producers to obtain higher prices from these markets.


The study shows that 7.2 million tonnes of organic waste was recycled during this period, compared to just over six million tonnes in 2009 and there are now over 1500 people employed in the sector. The information in the report is a combination of data on regulated sites from national environment agencies, and data collected by a sample survey of processing sites.


Ian Wardle, Head of Organics and Energy from Waste at WRAP, said: “This study illustrates the significant and growing role of AD technologies, and of the market for AD digestate, across the UK. Since 2010 this growth has been given further impetus through strong support from all UK governments, and from WRAP’s support for the sector which includes the £10 million AD Loan Fund.”


The report was commissioned by WRAP, working in partnership with the Association for Organics Recycling (AfOR), the Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Association (ADBA), the Environmental Services Association (ESA), and the Renewable Energy Association (REA). It is widely recognised as the most definitive market analysis of the organics industry.


The full report can be found at

WRAP’s vision is a world without waste, where resources are used sustainably. It works in partnership to help businesses, individuals and communities improve resource efficiency.

Established as a not-for-profit company in 2000, WRAP is backed by government funding from England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.


Follow us on Twitter at @Wrap_UK


Sophie Dyer

PR Officer
01295 819695