MRW - Materials Recycling World - EMAP Publishing Limited Company

MRW - Materials Recycling World - EMAP Publishing Limited Company

Major supermarket chain invests millions in anaerobic digestion

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Source: Materials Recycling Week

Sainsbury’s will invest GBP 9m during the next two years to establish five anaerobic digestion (AD) plants as it aims to become the UK’s first retailer to manage its own food waste. Its stores in Northern Ireland are already turning food waste into pet food to stop waste going to landfill (See MRW story).

The retailer has signed a joint venture with AD company Biogen Greenfinch to construct five plants that will receive Sainsbury’s food waste and recycle it. The joint venture’s first site will be the Westwoodplant in Northampton next year.

A Sainsbury’s spokeswoman said: “Biogen Greenfinch is part of our plan to send no food waste to landfill by next spring but it is not the entire plan.”

Sainsbury’s pays about GBP 7m a year for companies to collect its food waste and dispose of it in landfill. The company said it would save GBP 2m a year by recycling its food waste. It aims to receive revenues from the electricity generated by AD plants, which will go into the National Grid, as well as from third-party companies paying to use the site.

The move follows a commitment by Sainsbury’s to end the use of landfill sites by all its 800 stores across the UK by the end of 2009.

Sainsbury’s added that when food was past its ‘best before’ date but had not reached its ‘use by’ date it would be donated to local charities on a store-by-store basis.

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