Sainsbury’s to turn waste food into energy

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Sainsbury’s is to send all its waste food for anaerobic digestion. Food waste will be collected from distribution centres across the UK then processed to produce renewable energy.

The retailer has signed a three year deal with Biffa, which has just opened a “super anaerobic digestion plant” in Staffordshire. This is reckoned to be the biggest in the UK, processing up to 120,000 tonnes of food waste every year.

Neil Sachdev, Sainsbury’s property director, said: “It has taken quite some time for us to get into a position where we are able to send all of our food waste to anaerobic digestion due to a lack of facilities in the UK. However, I am pleased to see that the waste industry is catching up with demand for this green technology.

Sainsbury’s aims to limit the amount of food waste it produces through good stock control and accurate sales forecasting. Surplus food which isn’t sold, but is still fit for consumption, is sent to local charities and organisations such as FareShare, who redistribute the supplies. Food that cannot be consumed is collected by Biffa and processed to generate energy.

None of the food waste from Sainsbury’s supermarkets is sent to landfill, but some of it goes to other waste from energy processes. This new deal will ensure all of it is sent for anaerobic digestion.

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