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Flintshire man’s dog poo power plan to feature on Grand Designs

A DAD’S innovative idea to turn dog mess into electricity will feature on national TV later this year.

A Channel 4 film crew visited Brookes Avenue playing field in Broughton this week to hear more about former banker Gary Downie’s pioneering project.

The footage will be used as part of a Grand Designs mini-series on renewable and alternative energy sources in the autumn.

Kevin McCloud, who presents the popular property show, was in Flintshire to meet Gary – and more than 30 dog walkers turned up with their pets after an appeal in the Chronicle and on local radio.

Volunteers also took dogs from North Clwyd Animal Rescue in Trelogan along for their 15 minutes of fame.

“Kevin was following all the dogs round scooping up their poo to take away, he was over the moon!” said Gary, who lives in Broughton.

“He wanted to explore other energy options and look at why we import oil from the Middle East when we have natural resources as basic as dog waste which we can use free of charge.”

Gary, 41, started his own firm – Streetkleen – after getting fed up of pushing his baby’s pram along pavements and through parks covered in excrement.

He is now in talks with the council to make Flintshire the first county in Britain to have its canine faeces turned into energy using the process of anaerobic digestion.

Under Gary’s plan the dog waste collected from across Flintshire would be taken to sustainable energy firm Fre-Energy in Rossett and converted into carbon dioxide and methane, which would be used as a fuel to generate electricity that can be fed into the National Grid.

One ‘sample’ would create enough energy to boil water for two cups of tea.

Gary said: “Kevin loved the whole idea.

“After he’d collected all the waste we went over to Rossett and he made himself a brew with the energy from the waste!”

Megan Mayers, of Year 6 pupil of Mountain Lane Primary School in Buckley, went along to Broughton on Tuesday with teacher Yvette Tomkinson.

Megan has been heavily involved in an anti-dog fouling project along with the school’s eco-committee, which she chairs.

Yvette said: “We’ve had a lot of problems with dog fouling around the school and we’re fully supportive of Gary’s idea.”