A landfill site near Swindon could soon be home to a revolutionary new way of using smelly fumes to grow fresh fruit and veg.

Crapper and Sons Landfill Limited has come up with an eco-friendly idea that it hopes will help feed the county and fight climate change.

Its Sustain Initiative plans to use methane generated by the landfill on Brinkworth Road near Royal Wootton Bassett to power and heat inflatable greenhouses on-site that produce affordable healthy food all year round.

If approved, the groundbreaking concept would create up to 130 new jobs and potentially become a blueprint for other landfill sites around the UK to follow.

A public consultation will be held in December to provide more information about the proposal and give people a chance to offer their feedback.

Managing director Richard Crapper said: “Over the years, we have worked hard to support our local community.

“These plans are the next stage of that legacy. Our goal is to transform the way landfill sites are utilised so that they become one of the most climate-friendly methods of waste disposal.

“This is made possible by repurposing and reusing landfill cells once they become full, adopting cutting edge technology to create affordable, just-in-time food, through a process that consumes more carbon than it produces.”

Under the proposed plans, landfill methane - which is currently safely tapped and burnt off - will instead power engines to generate electricity and heat.

In a world-first, this will be used to keep greenhouses on the sealed landfill cells at the ideal temperature for growing fruit and vegetables throughout the year.

The greenhouses are engineered to adapt to the movement of the landfill as it settles and are fully sealed off from the outside environment to stop pests, diseases, or contamination getting inside.

The aim is for the greenhouses to supply 80 per cent of all fruit and vegetable requirements for Royal Wootton Basset, Malmesbury, Purton and Brinkworth, consuming up to 4,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year.

The concept is like a modern version of the ancient midden where waste would be piled outside homes to break down, which provided heat and material to burn for other uses.

The Sustain Initiative’s Super-Midden is designed to turn landfill sites into energy, heat, food, and fertiliser-generating centres.

Mr Crapper added: “The green food Super-Midden production centre will be owned and operated by a Community Interest Company, which will return profit to the community in the form of grants for community projects.

“All this is possible within the footprint of our existing site, but the really exciting part is that this solution has the potential to be replicated across the country, addressing the unsustainable practice of importing out-of-season produce from all over the world.

“Adopted nationwide, our Super-Midden solution could alleviate food shortages, provide cheap power to local communities and help to address the cost-of-living crisis, all by generating affordable, freshly harvested, non-warehoused produce at a lower cost than the major supermarkets.

“It’s all part of our wider Sustain vision that aims to create sustainable working environments and communities of the future.”

More information and online feedback forms are available at https://sustainwiltshire.co.uk

Carbon dioxide produced by turning the gas into energy will be fed into the greenhouses to control the environment, while ripening can be accelerated or slowed down to meet demand, which allows the growing season to be extended.

Produce will be delivered to people’s doorsteps alongside dairy products and meat from local farmers.

Public consultations will be held from 1pm to 8pm at Royal Wootton Bassett Rugby Football Club on Monday, December 4, and from 10am to 3pm at Memorial Hall on Station Road in Royal Wootton Bassett on Saturday, December 9.