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  1. ITV Report

Reading Festival human waste to be turned into renewable energy

Waste product from Reading festival will produce enough power to run two homes for a day. Credit: PA

Reading festivalgoers will be providing the power of the future, as sewage collected by the site will be transformed into renewable energy.

Those on the site enjoying the likes of the Foo Fighters, Post Malone and the 1975 will be producing hundreds of thousands of litres off poo and urine.

The waste products will be collected by Thames Water during the five-day festival as part of a green energy push.

Nine tankers, which can each carry almost 19,000 litres of sewage, will collect the waste. Credit: PA

Nine tankers, which can each carry almost 19,000 litres of sewage, will work from 6am until 10pm every day to collect the waste, before it is transported to Reading sewage works.

It is estimated more than 750,000 litres of sewage will be collected by contractors A1 Group, with a screening process to ensure any other objects collected in the waste do not clog up the machinery.

In previous festivals gone by, mobile phones, tents and sleeping bags have all made their way into the wastage.

In previous festivals gone by, mobile phones, tents and sleeping bags have all made their way into the waste. Credit: PA
  • So how does the process work?

The sewage is processed and non-byproduct items are sifted out of the waste.

Gas is then extracted from a by-product called sludge to generate electricity for the plant.

The waste collected would be enough to power two homes for a day.

Reading sewage works produces 50 per cent of all the electricity it uses, while Thames Water as a whole generates around a quarter of the power it needs from waste.

Andrew Glover, from Thames Water’s commercial operations team, said: “Reading Festival is one of the biggest events in our calendar, but we're raring to go.

"We'll be working 16 hours a day for five days, collecting and treating a total of 750,000 litres of sewage from the site's toilets.

Foo Fighters are among the headliners of this year's Reading and Leeds Festival. Credit: PA

"Festival loos are infamous for their pong, but it's amazing to see what else people flush down there each year.

"We've previously had to drag out tents, sleeping bags and foil blankets, along with smaller items like mobile phones, beer cans and clothes so they don't clog up our machines.

"We're therefore urging festival-goers to only put the three Ps down the loos - pee, poo and paper - and not to flush any other objects or rubbish down there."

The festival runs from Friday, August 23, to Sunday, August 25, but people will start arriving at the site from Wednesday.