Proving that there’s life beyond the dumpster for wasted food, a U.K. store just became the first in the country to be totally powered by leftovers. The Guardian reports that a Sainsbury’s store in the West Midlands of the U.K. is set to leave the national power grid in favor of food power created through the anaerobic digestion of food scraps – via a partnership with waste recycling company Biffa.

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Sainsbury’s, a popular U.K. retail chain, is already the country’s largest user of food energy and anaerobic digestion – it produces enough power to light up 2,500 homes each year. Now they have a store that will be 100 percent powered by food. Leftover food from Sainsbury’s supermarket in Cannock gets trucked to the nearby Biffa plant where it’s turned into bio-methane gas that’s then used to generate electricity that’s sent back to the store via a 1.5-kilometer-long transmission line.

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Don’t worry, food banks and charity partners get first dibs on leftover food from the store; then farmers for their animal feed needs – and even the monkeys at a nearby safari park get bananas from a Sainsbury’s store in Liverpool. All that’s left gets turned over for food-energy production at the Biffa plant. “We send absolutely no waste to landfill and are always looking for new ways to reuse and recycle,” Paul Crewe, head of sustainability at Sainsbury’s told The Guardian. “So we’re delighted to be the first business ever to make use of this linkup technology, allowing our Cannock store to be powered entirely by our food waste.”

Via The Guardian

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