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Sainbury’s waste to power homes

UK-based supermarket chain Sainsbury’s has signed an anaerobic digestion (AD) deal with waste management company Biffa to dispose of all left-over organic waste from the retailer to AD plants around the country.

The food waste will be converted into power which will be put on the grid for home and business use.

London alone is going to produce about 25.8 million tonnes of waste a year by 2020 and the British government says 18 million tonnes of that will need to be recycled to reduce the waste going to landfill.

Food waste that is sent to landfills can create harmful gases, similar to CO₂ emissions, during the breakdown process.

Neil Sachdev, Sainsbury’s property director, says: ‘Anaerobic digestion is the most efficient way to create energy from waste, so this new contract means our food waste is being put to the best possible use.

‘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 AD 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.’

Some of the food waste generated by Sainsbury’s will be sent to the Biffa AD plant in Staffordshire, which is the biggest in the UK, processing up to 120,000 tonnes of food waste from homes and businesses every year.

The facility has been producing energy since June and at full capacity is expected to power up to 10,000 homes.