In a UK first, waste from McDonalds restaurants, including discarded food, will be used to heat local buildings. The initiative will see 11 McDonalds restaurants in Sheffield, Rotherham and Barnsley participate in a pilot scheme. Veolia Environmental Services, contractor for McDonalds, will be collecting the waste and treating it at its energy recovery facility in Sheffield where it is then converted into electricity and heat. McDonalds president and chief executive officer Steve Easterbrook said: At the moment, it is difficult for companies like McDonalds to recycle their waste because we cannot remove food from it completely. As a result, we have to send it to landfill. This trial is an exciting opportunity to look at an alternative method of disposal with real benefits for the environment and local community. It is estimated that the scheme will divert 100 tonnes of refuse going to landfill each year and will help to provide heating for 130 local buildings, including Sheffield City Hall. Easterbrook said: We are constantly trying to find ways to run our business in a more sustainable way. However, like many companies, we find that we are currently constrained by the lack of infrastructure needed to support initiatives like this across the UK. If the trial is successful we are keen to explore how we can extend it to other parts of the country as part of our ongoing efforts to improve our impact on the environment and local communities. A Veolia spokeswoman added: "We have been working in partnership with McDonald's on sustainable development initiatives for a number of years and already carry out the cardboard recycling at many of the restaurants for which we are responsible.