AN ENVIRONMENTAL entrepreneur has invested £2.5 million in a new food recycling business creating 15 new jobs in North Yorkshire.

The new venture has been created by Thirsk businessman Richard Todd, who founded Todd Waste Management Group, which he built up to employ a team of 46 and serve 1,200 business customers before selling the business to Yorwaste earlier this year.

The Todd family was advised on the sale by LCF Law and Sagars Accountants, both of which have now assisted Mr Todd in acquiring a 15-acre waste handling site at Alne near York, where his new company will be based.

Called Allium Organics, the company will be one of the UK’s first closed loop recycling businesses to turn organic waste, such as food and other biodegradable waste, into energy, via a three-stage sustainable green process.

It will use ‘In Vessel Composting’ technology to treat waste within vast sealed chambers making it into a nutrient-rich compost.

Approximately 100,000 tonnes of compost will be produced each year that will be used to restore non-agricultural land, such as former landfill sites and quarries.

Initially, Allium Organics will use the compost to grow Willow Coppice on a former landfill site, between York and Scarborough, at East Knapton. Once it’s planted, it will take approximately three years before the first wood can be harvested.

The wood will then be turned into a biomass fuel at the company’s Alne site and used to produce heat, which will be sold to the neighbouring site and electricity that will be sold back to the National Grid.

When it’s fully operational, it will export sufficient energy to power approximately 12,000 houses.

Mr Todd said: “Nowadays most household black bin waste is incinerated and turned into energy, but this doesn’t work for wet organic waste.

“We’ve therefore created Allium Organics to address this problem and offer a full closed loop recycling solution, which is the first of its kind in the UK, specialising in In Vessel Composting, restoration of non-agricultural land with energy crops and energy production.

“We’ve already secured a number of contracts that will see us handling waste from across Yorkshire and beyond.

“Production of the compost will commence in early 2018, though we have already started restoration and planting at our Knapton Quarry site.

“We’re then expecting to recruit approximately 15 people over the coming months to support the company’s growth.”

Clementine Duckett, who is a partner within LCF Law’s corporate division, said: “Advising Richard and his family on the successful sale of Todd Waste Management Group was very rewarding and especially because it paved the way for this new venture, which promises to be hugely exciting.

“Securing the Alne site provides an ideal base for Allium Organics to grow, especially because it already has the relevant permissions in place to operate as a waste handling site.

“It will be one of the UK’s most innovative and green businesses, diverting waste away from landfill and creating a renewable source of electricity, and it has the potential to become a blueprint for similar closed loop recycling operations throughout the country.”

LCF Law works with both businesses and private individuals, employing more than 135 people at offices in Leeds, Bradford, Harrogate and Ilkley.