UK Supermarket To Use Food Waste To Power Itself
Ever wondered what happens to all the leftover perishable food when the supermarket closes at the end of the day? Sometimes they are repurposed, but more often than not, they are thrown out. However, a Sainsbury’s supermarket in the United Kingdom (U.K.) has found a new use for food wastage.
Sainsbury intends to power its electrical operations with leftover food waste by teaming up with Biffa, one of U.K.’s largest waste management companies. Sainsbury sends its food waste in trucks to Biffa’s plant to be converted into biogas, and this biogas is in turn burned to meet the energy needs of a Sainsbury supermarket in Cannock.
Biogas is a renewable fuel that is produced when bacteria break down organic matter in an anaerobic process, also known as anaerobic digestion. Biogas is composed mainly of methane, which is a potent greenhouse gas if released uncombusted. Burning the fuel releases carbon dioxide, but what sets it apart from natural gas, coal or oil, is that biogas is derived from organic sources that are already part of the carbon cycle, and is carbon-neutral.
In a press release, Sainsbury’s’ head of sustainability Paul Crewe said, “Sainsbury’s sends absolutely no waste to landfill and we’re always looking for new ways to reuse and recycle. We’re delighted to be the first business ever to make use of this linkup technology, allowing our Cannock store to be powered entirely by our food waste.”
Check out the infographic below to learn more about how Sainsbury’s biogas power plan works.