Running on rubbish: Supermarket comes off national grid to be powered by food waste alone

Sainsbury's Cannock

Industry partners Biffa and Sainsbury’s are today celebrating an innovative facility that will allow Sainsbury’s Cannock store to run on power generated solely from the supermarket’s own food waste.

Using Biffa’s advanced anaerobic digestion (AD) facilities and a unique power link up, Sainsbury’s Cannock store will be powered using electricity generated using food waste from Sainsbury’s stores across the UK.

This ground-breaking project helps to close the loop on food recycling and Sainsbury’s to continue to send zero operational waste to landfill.

Infographic

How it works

  • Sainsbury’s send zero operational waste to landfill. Any food waste that is unsuitable for charitable donations or animal feed is sent to anaerobic digestion at Biffa to be converted to energy
  • This remaining food waste is collected from Sainsbury’s supermarkets around the UK using Sainsbury’s delivery lorries. It is returned to Biffa’s plant in Cannock
  • The food waste is turned into bio-methane gas, which is then used to generate electricity at the Biffa plant
  • Electricity for Sainsbury’s Cannock store is directly supplied to the supermarket via a newly constructed new 1.5km long electricity cable
  • The new power supply – built in partnership with Biffa – means the Cannock store will come off the National Grid for day to day electricity consumption
  • Sainsbury’s is already the UK’s largest retail user of anaerobic digestion, generating enough energy to power 2,500 homes each year

Notes to editors

Sainsbury’s zero waste to landfill

In June 2013, Sainsbury’s achieved its 20x20 sustainability target of putting all its store waste to positive use – and diverting it from landfill.

All general waste from stores is recycled or turned into fuel. Surplus food that can’t be used by our charity partners to feed vulnerable people is now processed into animal feed to support British farmers or used to generate energy through anaerobic digestion.

Sainsbury’s is already the UK’s largest retail user of anaerobic digestion, generating enough energy to power 2,500 homes each year.

Biffa’s Anaerobic Digestion technology

Biffa’s Poplars site in Staffordshire is the largest operational AD plant in the UK dealing with source segregated food waste. The facility is licensed to process 120,000 tonnes of food waste per annum, and is supported by a fleet of specialist vehicles collecting food waste from large and small customers nationwide.

Biffa is one of the leading waste management companies in the UK, employing nearly 6,000 people and collecting 2.6m tonnes of Industrial and Commercial waste every year. Biffa now produces a range of renewable energy types at 41 of its UK sites.

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3 comments for “0618 Running on rubbish: Supermarket comes off national grid to be powered by food waste alone”

  • adnan27 July 2014 at 23:37:00

    Nice work

  • mollie kennett26 August 2014 at 19:35:20

    Ive just read the article on waste food I am so impressed, I hope others is room for other companies to follow suit wouldn't that be fantastic, I'm amazed at how things could be , keep up the good work .

  • cris04 October 2014 at 19:22:48

    im very pleased when i ear news like that! someone is starting to care about our eviroment and our future, and to know that food waste can be resold cheaper can really help others in a time lof crisis, really a good job im very happy about that, keep going,.....

About the article

  • Posted on: 21 July 2014
  • Type of article: Press release

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