Food waste collected from Sainsbury’s turned into energy using anaerobic digestion
Many Sainsbury’s throughout the UK are now powered by anaerobic digestion (AD). The supermarket giants have gone into partnership with one of the country’s top food waster recyclers, ReFood.
Over the past year, the energy that they have generated from waste food alone would be able to power 5,000 homes. To date, ReFood have supplied Sainsbury’s with nearly 50 million Kwh of biomethane gas.
The waste food is picked up from Sainsbury’s depots at Haydock and Sherburn-in-Elmet and then turned into heat, gas and fertiliser at ReFood’s anaerobic digestion processing plant.
ReFood then exports the green gas to the national gas grid and then via a third party, it’s transported by Sainsbury’s stores across the country to be used to produce carbon-neutral electricity for heating and power.
Ten Sainsbury’s stores have already managed to considerably boost their renewable energy usage, whilst also lowering their utility bills.
Speaking about the partnership, utilities buyer for Sainsbury’s, Paul Densham said: “Working in partnership with ReFood allows us to effectively recycle our food waste while creating green gas.”
“The project has helped us to become a market leader in sustainability and waste reduction, ensuring that we send zero waste to landfill, a promise we’ve been able to make for some years now.”
Anaerobic digestion (AD), is a simple and safe biological process by which organic materials, such as food waste, are broken down by micro-organisms in the absence of oxygen, to produce renewable energy and biofertiliser.
This produces biogas (renewable energy), which can then be used to generate renewable power and heat, which helps to cut our dependency on fossil fuels, thus reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
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