Waste management firm Biffa has signed a contract with Sainsburys to process its Midlands food waste using anaerobic digestion.
Over three years, Biffa will handle food waste from 40 Sainsburys Midlands stores in another step towards diverting all the supermarkets food waste from landfill.
Sainsburys commercial director Neil Sachdev said: We are the industry leader in the use of anaerobic digestion and with this additional capacity provided by Biffa, we put ourselves even further ahead. Respect for the environment is one of our key values, and as such, we will completely stop sending food waste to landfill within the next few weeks. We are desperate for greater anaerobic digestion capacity and would therefore like to see greater, clearer incentives for investment in this green technology.
Currently, a variety of different waste management methods process Sainsburys food waste as part of its Zero Food to Landfill Network. It is hoped that by 2012, the supermarket chain will use AD only to handle its food waste.
The Midlands food waste will be treated at Biffas Wanlip AD plant - the UKs first mixed waste AD plant. The facility was originally designed to receive food waste which has been mechanically separated from household refuse but now it can also remove packaging materials from food waste.
Biffa engineering director John Casey said: Securing this contract with Sainsburys for the management of food waste from their Midlands stores has been the culmination of 18 months hard work to optimise the performance of the Wanlip AD plant and then to secure the necessary authorisations to receive food waste direct.
Sainsburys and Biffa have been working together since 2005, with Biffa providing recycling and waste management services to almost 600 Sainsburys stores across the UK. This includes recycling of waste oil, the management of confidential paperwork, animal-by-product wastes and in-store photoshop waste, recycling, and residual waste collection, treatment and disposal.