Resource Use

Nestlé factory achieves zero waste to landfill

Nestlé UK & Ireland’s Fawdon factory in Newcastle upon Tyne has achieved zero waste to landfill by diverting waste to anaerobic digestion (AD).

 

The confectionery factory, which opened its own on-site AD plant last year, has achieved the milestone by sending the ‘chocolate soup’ produced each day (comprising four tonnes of solid waste and 200,000 litres of liquid effluent) to the facility for treatment.

Once in the airtight tank, bacteria decomposes the material in the absence of oxygen to produce biogas and a digestate byproduct. The gas is then used to power a combined heat and power (CHP) engine, which produces around 200 kilowatts of electricity – around eight per cent of the site’s energy needs.

According to the company, the £3.2-million AD plant has also helped improve the quality of water discharged from the factory and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 10 per cent (due to the renewable heat and power source).

Andrew Griffiths, Sustainability Manager at Nestlé Fawdon, commented: “We’re proud to announce that one year on from launch, we’ve achieved our target of zero waste to landfill at our Fawdon factory, thanks to the installation of a new anaerobic digester.

"The system allows us to convert a large amount of waste that would otherwise enter sewage, be used as feed stock, or [be disposed of at] landfill systems [where it would] generate methane and other greenhouse gas emissions.”

Renewable energy company Clearfleau installed the AD plant at Nestlé’s biggest UK factory last year, as part of the company’s commitment to achieve ‘zero waste for disposal’ in 10 per cent of its UK and Northern Ireland factories by 2015. This target was achieved in 2013. As such, Nestlé has now committed to seeing all 150 of its European factories send zero waste to landfill by 2020.

Find out more about the Fawdon AD plant.