Supermarket Powered by Food Waste Alone

July 25, 2014 By Karen Henry

sainsburys-energy-manageUK grocery store chain Sainsbury announced that its Cannock store will run on power generated solely from the supermarket’s own food waste. Sainsbury will use waste management company Biffa’s advanced anaerobic digestion (AD) facilities and a unique power link to generate electricity using food waste from Sainsbury’s stores across the UK.

The food waste is turned into bio-methane gas, which is then used to generate electricity at the Biffa plant. The electricity is then supplied to Sainsbury’s Cannock store through a .93-mile long electric cable.

As a result of this project, the Cannock store will be able to come off the national grid for day-to-day electricity consumption.

In June 2013, Sainsbury’s achieved its 20×20 sustainability target of putting all its store waste to positive use and diverting it from landfills. All general waste from stores is recycled or turned into fuel. Surplus food that can’t be used to feed vulnerable people is 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.

A similar system was adopted by Kroger last year to help power its Ralphs/Food 4 Less distribution center in Compton, Calif.

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