Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of MRW, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

AD industry 'not meeting customer needs'

The largest retail user of anaerobic digestion (AD) has warned the industry of “unacceptable” practices.

Sainsbury’s head of waste, Dave Timson, criticised AD plants’ operating hours, saying many customers of them were “24 hour, 365-day businesses” and nine-to-five weekday operation by AD plants is “totally unacceptable”.

“Bank holiday opening is vital, as it’s a peak trading time for us when waste levels are at their highest,” Timson told the Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Association (ADBA) national conference in London,

“From a customer perspective, for the AD industry to continue to build momentum it must consider the needs of the customer”.

Timson said quick turnaround facilities were important to keep logistics and vehicle costs down for customers. He also said expecting customers to repackage waste going to AD is “unacceptable”.

“The AD industry needs to invest in robust, flexible packaging machinery” he said.

Sainsbury’s signed a deal with Bifa earlier this year to make it the country’s largest retail user of AD. The company now sends all its food waste to AD and says it will achieve zero-waste to landfill in the next 12 months.

Timson warned major industry players that AD operators must have contingency plans in the event of plant failure and sudden increases of feedstock supplies. He said it was unrealistic to expect feedstock suppliers to sign up to long-term fixed supply contracts.

He said whilst AD is the right thing for food waste, as the market matures and alternative solutions to deal with food waste become attractive, in order for momentum to build the AD industry must work in partnership with customers to make AD easy and cost-effective.

“In order to capture the public’s imagination the industry needs to come up with a better name; anaerobic digestion doesn’t do it.”

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.