The UK supermarket chain J Sainsbury plc has announced that one of its supermarkets will be powered entirely by electricity generated from anaerobic digestion of food waste from all of the chain’s supermarkets. Sainsbury has about 580 supermarkets and almost as many convenience stores in the UK.
The Company states that the project helps to close the loop on food recycling and helps Sainsbury’s continue to send zero operational waste to landfill.
Like many Canadian supermarkets, Sainsbury marks down products that are approaching the end of their life and offers surplus product to food banks and charities. Some of the remaining products go to processing for animal feed. The residue is collected by the Company’s own trucks and sent to an anaerobic digestion facility in the West Midlands of England. The gas from the digester is used to power a generator which supplies electricity to a Sainsbury store some 1.5km away. Excess power is sold into the national grid.
Sainsbury claims to be the UK’s largest retail user of anaerobic digestion, generating enough energy to power 2,500 homes each year. The plant, run by waste management company Biffa, is said by Biffa to be the UK’s largest operational anaerobic digestion facility dealing with source segregated food waste. The facility is licensed to process 120,000 tonnes of food waste annually.
The Company press release can be found at http://www.j-sainsbury.co.uk/media/latest-stories/2014/0618-running-on-rubbish-supermarket-comes-off-national-grid-to-be-powered-by-food-waste-alone/