To implement our groundbreaking ground zero food waste to landfill programme we work to a clear hierarchy of reduce, reuse and recycle to divert food waste from landfill. We view waste as a valuable resource that can be treated in ways that both generate energy and reduce environmental impacts.
Our landfill diversion hierarchy starts with good stock control to reduce the generation of food waste. We also donate food that is within its 'use by' date to charity.
Our landfill diversion hierarchy then sets out the preferred options for the treatment of the remaining food waste. Our preferred choice is anaerobic digestion, which breaks down the food waste into fertiliser and methane gas, used to generate electricity. Each store or depot evaluates whether there is a suitable anaerobic digestion plant within practical distance. Our second tier of preferred waste treatment methods are In-Vessel Composting (IVC), Fluidised Bed Combustor (FBC) or Pyrolysis. Our third choice is incineration. We use 'backhauling' - using lorries on return journeys - to divert food waste to waste treatment.
We periodically revaluate our food waste processing choices. And as new anaerobic digestors are built we move towards this solution.