Well, that’s one way to use up those bruised bananas. One Sainsbury’s store in Cannock, England plans to power itself using biogas that’s been harvested from the store’s own unsold and rotting food, through a system of anaerobic digesters (the process by which microorganisms break down biodegradable material in the absence of oxygen), in order to manage waste and produce fuel. Any electricity that is not used by the grocery store will be returned back to the city power grid for conservation efforts.
Sainsbury already creates zero landfill waste, and now the store will be the first supermarket in the U.K. to ever take itself entirely off the power grid.
So how exactly does this process work? In a neat little infographic, Sainsbury explains that at the end of the day if a product on the shelf is not bought, it is donated to charity, ground up for animal feed, or taken to the anaerobic digestion plant in Cannock. The food waste is then placed in silos, which convert the waste to bio methane gas. The gas generates the electricity at the plant, which is then directly supplied to the supermarket, generating enough electricity to power 2,500 homes per year.
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Joanna Fantozzi is an Associate Editor with The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter@JoannaFantozzi