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Stop & Shop to turn food waste into energy


Quincy, Mass. -- Stop & Shop has broken ground on the company’s first anaerobic digester at its distribution center in Freetown, Massachusetts. The state-of-the-art digester will turn food scraps into clean energy.

As part of its sustainability efforts, Stop & Shop plans to donate and divert as much food waste and unsold food as possible to regional food banks and farms. But food that cannot be donated will be sent to the digester. The supermarket retailer has set a long-term goal to divert 90% of waste going to landfills.

The food from stores that goes unsold, or is unable to be donated, will be transported to the distribution center. Then, by recreating the natural process of anaerobic digestion (an organically occurring water purification system found in wetlands) carbon in the organic material is cleanly and efficiently converted into a biogas and used as a power source.

“We are excited to begin the groundbreaking of this facility, as it’s a clear proof point of our commitment to reducing waste across our supply chain,” said Jihad Rizkallah VP of responsible retailing for Ahold USA, parent company of Stop & Shop. “Once operational, the anaerobic digester will create approximately 1.25 megawatts of clean, based load electricity, which would offset up to 40% of the Freetown facility’s energy use. This is just one of the ways we strive to be a better neighbor, and a responsible retailer in the communities we serve.”

The digester is anticipated to begin full operation by first quarter 2016.

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