Quantcast

British Supermarket to Power Itself Solely With Food Waste

Business

It's good to refrain from wasting energy, but it's even better to procure energy from items that you otherwise would waste.

That's the thinking behind the latest announcement from Sainsbury's, the second largest chain of supermarkets in the United Kingdom. The chain's Cannock location will soon be powered solely by the company's own food waste. Waste management and recycling firm Biffa has partnered with the store to use its advanced anaerobic digestion (AD) facilities and a power link that allows the Cannock store to use the waste generated from Sainsbury's other locations.

Sainsbury's announced a groundbreaking initiative this week to power a store solely with food waste. Photo credit: Sainsbury's

"This groundbreaking project helps to close the loop on food recycling and [allows] Sainsbury’s to continue to send zero operational waste to landfills," reads the chain's announcement.

Biffa trucks pick up Sainsbury's food waste to take it to its AD plant. From there, large silos break down the waste in a process Sainsbury's compares to the human stomach. The gas generates electricity, which supplies the Cannock store through a nine-mile cable. Any surplus energy returns to the national electricity grid.

Sainsbury's is already the UK's largest AD user, generating enough energy to power 2,500 homes.

Despite the company's plan, energy is not its first choice for using the company's food waste. The AD process only comes into play if certain foods are not purchased and thereafter deemed unsuitable for charitable donations or the creation of animal feed.

In France, chain Intermarché has announced a humorous initiative to take advantage of fruits and vegetables that would otherwise be wasted. Meanwhile, Chicago café Sandwich Me In makes use of every bit of waste it generates.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Logging state in the U.S. is seen representing some of the consequences humans will face in the absence of concrete action to stop deforestation, pollution and the climate crisis. Mark Newman / Lonely Planet Images / Getty Images

Talk is cheap, says the acting executive secretary of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, who begged governments around the world to make sure that 2020 is not another year of conferences and empty promises, but instead is the year to take decisive action to stop the mass extinction of wildlife and the destruction of habitat-sustaining ecosystems, as The Guardian reported.

Read More
The people of Kiribati have been under pressure to relocate due to sea level rise. A young woman wades through the salty sea water that flooded her way home on Sept. 29, 2015. Jonas Gratzer / LightRocket via Getty Images

Refugees fleeing the impending effects of the climate crisis cannot be forced to return home, according to a new decision by the United Nations Human Rights Committee, as CNN reported. The new decision could open up a massive wave of legal claims by displaced people around the world.

Read More
Sponsored
The first day of the Strike WEF march on Davos on Jan. 18, 2020 near Davos, Switzerland. The activists want climate justice and think the WEF is for the world's richest and political elite only. Kristian Buus / In Pictures via Getty Images

By Ashutosh Pandey

Teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg is returning to the Swiss ski resort of Davos for the 2020 World Economic Forum with a strong and clear message: put an end to the fossil fuel "madness."

Read More
Protesters attend a rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court held by the group Our Children's Trust Oct. 29, 2018 in Washington, DC. The group and the plaintiffs have vowed to keep fighting and to ask the full Ninth Circuit to review Friday's decision to toss the lawsuit. Win McNamee / Getty Images

An appeals court tossed out the landmark youth climate lawsuit Juliana v. United States Friday, arguing that the courts are not the place to resolve the climate crisis.

Read More
The land around Red Knoll near Kanab, UT that could have been razed for a frac sand mine. Tara Lohan

By Tara Lohan

A sign at the north end of Kanab, Utah, proclaims the town of 4,300 to be "The Greatest Earth on Show."

Read More