R&R Ice Cream’s site at Skelmersdale in Lancashire, UK, is now preventing significant quantities of bio-methane and carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere following a 100% reduction in the amount of food waste going to landfill.
Damian Gaunt, managing director of Sheffield recycling specialists, Waste Recycling and Destruction Limited, said: “Food waste which goes into landfill produces the commonly known greenhouse gases CH4 (bio-methane) and CO2 (carbon dioxide). These have a proven detrimental effect upon the ozone layer and, subsequently, our environment. R&R is to be applauded for implementing this new policy where – through the use of an anaerobic digester – the waste now generates valuable electricity.”
Following an agreement with R&R in May this year, Waste Recycling and Destruction Limited now collects all the food waste from the factory. Most of the outer packaging, such as cardboard, plastic and shrink-wrap, is then removed manually, baled and itself sold for re-use and re-cycling. The food waste then goes through a further process in a separator where gravity is used to remove any remaining packaging and materials such as lolly sticks.
The product is then combined with other waste food and transported to an anaerobic digestion facility where the bio-gas – primarily CH4 and CO2 – is recovered from the degrading material. The resulting bio-methane is then used to run large generators to produce electricity which is then fed back into the local grid.
The retained packaging material goes to a nearby £12m MRF (materials recycling facility) site where the recyclates are recovered with any residual material being baled, wrapped and sent to mainland Europe. Here it is burned as a RDF (refuse derived fuel) in municipal incinerators which in turn generate heat and power for other local communities.
David Johnstone, R&R’s factory manager at Skelmersdale, said: “This initiative represents a win-win as, not only has 100% of our food waste been diverted away from landfill, but the waste itself is now a valuable source of green energy. In addition to this move, we are continuing to examine other ways of reducing the site’s carbon footprint such as lowering water consumption.”
R&R Ice Cream’s Skelmersdale factory has a core workforce of about 120 and manufactures a range of handheld ice cream and ice lolly products both under supermarket labels and under the Cadbury, Del Monte, Vimto, Britvic, Barratt’s Nestlé and Mondelez brand names.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2022
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