Press Centre

ASDA UNVEILS UK'S FIRST 'ZERO WASTE TO LANDFILL' SUPERMARKET

ASDA announced today (Wednesday 25th October 2006) that its store in Canford Heath, Dorset is set be the first supermarket in the UK to recycle, reuse or compost all of its waste rather than send it to landfill.  

The ASDA store near Poole currently recycles around 20% of its general waste (mostly excess cardboard and plastic), with the rest going into landfill. Approximately 65% of all the general waste produced by ASDA stores could be composted each year - equivalent to 58,000 tonnes nationwide.  

Thanks to a partnership with New Earth Solutions, a recycling company based in nearby Wimborne, all the waste fruit and veg from the back of the ASDA store will be composted instead of sent to landfill. In the coming weeks the store's waste bakery products will also be sent for composting, followed by animal by-products in the coming months.  

In July this year ASDA committed to send nothing to landfill from any of its stores or depots by 2010. The supermarket has steadily reduced the amount of waste it produces each year from 140,000 tonnes in 2001 to 88,000 tonnes in 2005*, this is despite opening more than 70 extra supermarkets in the same time period.  

Simon Fern, environment manager at ASDA said: "Landfill sites in the UK are gradually running out of capacity, which means we need to find innovative and more environmentally friendly ways to dispose of our waste.

"By using specially designed composting units we're able to take all the waste food from the back of our store and turn it into good quality organic compost. As a result 150 tonnes of general waste will be diverted from local landfill sites each year." 

Ben Bradshaw, Minister for Local Environment Quality, said: "Reducing the amount of waste we send to landfill is an urgent priority and a vital part of the battle against climate change. We cannot expect consumers to get fully engaged with reducing their own waste unless producers and retailers demonstrate a clear commitment to the same principles.  

"I'd like to see more retailers setting ambitious targets of this kind and making that commitment publicly. The potential for having a positive influence which goes far beyond their own contribution is immense." 

Peter Mills, director of New Earth Solutions, the company that is helping ASDA compost waste from its store in Poole added: "We've spent a number of years developing recycling technologies that divert waste out of landfill sites and convert it into compost. We're delighted to be able to support ASDA's aim of reusing, recycling or composting all its store waste." 

David Lusher, commercial director with Veolia Environmental Services, ASDA's long standing waste management partner, said: "ASDA has a genuine desire to deliver sustainable solutions for dealing with its waste. This announcement moves it one step closer to achieving its aim of zero waste to landfill by 2010. We'd encourage other supermarkets to follow ASDA's lead."

ENDS

Posted in Press Centre on 25 October 2006