Television celebrity and recycling campaigner, Janet Street-Porter, has officially opened a new £8million plant which will convert leftover food into heat, power and bio-fertiliser.
The Emerald Biogas site, in Newton Aycliffe, uses an anaerobic digestion process to convert commercial waste food.
Bacteria is added to the waste to break it down and generate methane gas. The remains are then turned into fertiliser, which is distributed to landowners and agricultural businesses within ten miles of the site, and energy to power 2,000 homes.
It estimates 800 tonnes of waste food are generated in the region each year. Schools, councils and local businesses are among those whose waste will end up at the facility.
A group from Teesside are turning recyclable waste into art projects for children.
A local scout group visited the Percy Middlesbrough scrap-store - which makes material which would ordinarily have gone to landfill into art - to complete their Community Challenge and Creative Challenge awards today.
The scouts helped cleared away rubbish from the Middlesbrough compound, and also used material donated by local businesses to create artwork.
Vicky Jackson-Smith is Managing Director of J&B Recycling. She says she is on a mission to divert landfill by increasing the types and levels of waste that can be recycled.
Vicky is Responsible for 100,000 tonnes of waste a year for an estimated 4,000 public and private sector clients from Fife to Essex. J&B will create 200 new jobs on Teesside as part of a new recycling plant development.**