Page last updated at 11:40 GMT, Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Supermarket waste used for power

Sainsbury's store
The company's 28 Scottish stores will be the greenest in the country

Supermarket giant Sainsbury's has announced it is to pioneer a scheme to divert waste away from landfill in its Scottish stores.

Under the initiative all its unsold food will be sent to a biomass plant near Motherwell to be turned into electricity.

The company said the move would see 42 tonnes of waste a week kept away from landfill.

The plans were unveiled at the Zero Waste conference in Edinburgh.

Sainsbury's said it aimed to stop sending all UK food waste to landfill by this summer but was fast-tracking the plan its 28 Scottish stores.

Food waste from the stores will be taken to the biomass plant in Lanarkshire, operated by the PDM Group.

It will be turned into bio-fuel then used to generate power.

Businesses throughout Scotland and the rest of the UK need to demonstrate their commitment to finding workable, commercially sound solutions to today's environmental problems
Alison Austin
Sainsbury's environment manager
"Alison Austin, Sainsbury's environment manager, said: "This move underlines our commitment to the Scottish Government's zero waste ambition.

"Each tonne of food waste diverted from landfill by Sainsbury's will generate enough power for 500 homes and will save 3 tonnes of CO2 compared to fossil fuels.

"Scotland is at the forefront of our wider UK plan to completely cut our dependence on landfill."

Single collection

She added: "This is the first step in a plan that will see Sainsbury's stop using landfill for food waste by this summer and stop using landfill completely by the end of the year.

"Businesses throughout Scotland and the rest of the UK need to demonstrate their commitment to finding workable, commercially sound solutions to today's environmental problems."

A single truck will be used to travel to all the Sainsbury's stores in Scotland to collect the waste and deposit it at the site in Motherwell.

The company said this method of collection, rather than using single skips at individual stores, would allow about 336 lorries to be taken off the road.

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