Supermarket Uses Expired Food As Its New Power Source

Food in a British supermarket too rotten to be sold is still being digestedóby a plant that turns it into electricity to power the store. The Sainsbury’s store says it’s the first retail outlet in the country to remove itself from the national power grid, receiving electricity directly from a nearby anaerobic digestion plant that turns food waste from Sainsbury’s outlets into bio-gas, the BBC reports.

“Sainsbury’s sends absolutely no waste to landfill and we’re always looking for new ways to re-use and recycle,” a company spokesman says.

At the digestion plant, expired food is placed in tanks and digested by bacteria that thrive without oxygen, breaking the food down into methane gas which is used to generate power, explains Popular Science, which notes that anaerobic digestion plants are planned for numerous US cities and the Kroger grocery chain has a distribution plant partly powered by old food. And there is plenty of room for expansion of the effort: More than a billion tons of food are wasted every year, with people in North America and Europe wasting around 220 pounds each, the Smithsonian finds. (A restaurant in Chicago, however, has managed to limit its waste to just 8 gallons in two years.)

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Janelle Kennedy
Janelle Kennedy3 years ago

We need to do that in every grocery market

Nils Anders Lunde
PlsNoMessage se3 years ago


Sarah Hill
Sarah Hill3 years ago

Good idea!

june t.
june t3 years ago

My uncle has something similar set up at his farm, they have almost zero waste and create most of their own energy. I hope ideas like this will spread and become more commonplace.

Angela Roquemore
Angela Roquemore3 years ago

Too bad more places don't do this!

Veera Olsbo
Veera Olsbo3 years ago

Awesome, way to go!

Chad Anderson
Chad A3 years ago

This is exactly the kind of clever idea we need to save humanity

Joan E.
Joan E3 years ago


Nancy Hatcher
Nancy Hatcher3 years ago

Wow, I am impressed!

Berny p.
Berny p3 years ago