BAN Waste Select Committee evidence

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Phase 1 Day 2 2001-09-26 Ian Bowles (ASDA supermarket)

written evidence submitted in advance

Waste Management - Back of Store

Cardboard

We produce around 90,000 tonnes of carboard packaging waste directly from our stores each year. Cardboard waste arises in store from packaging around products delivered from suppliers via our distribution centres i.e. boxes and stand on cardboard trays.

Whilst merchandising product, our in-store colleagues segregate cardboard from plastic packaqing and it is then taken through to the warehouse where it is put into a compactor skip. We use a compactor skip to reduce the volume of the waste and increase the weight we can achieve in the waste skip. We do this to reduce the frequency that the skip needs to be emptied and therefore the number of vehicle movements to and from our stores.

Cardboard waste is sent to be recycled at an accredited waste paper mill where it is converted into a recycled board to be used in various packaging formats.

Plastic

We produce around 20,000 tonnes of plastic packaging waste annually. We are at present trialling the segregation and recovery of this waste stream in a number of our stores and early results are very encouraging. It is envisaged that the segregation and recovery of this waste will become mainstream next year.

Product Waste

We produce approximately 60,000 tonnes of mixed product each year. We make every effort to minimise the amount of product we lose through damage, spillage and 'sell by date' etc... as this obviously affects our profitability and the main routes of disposal is to municipal landfill sites or incineration.

Where our stores are located within their catchment area, we donate food to Crisis Fareshare who distribute fruit, vegetables and bakery products to hostels, shelters and the homeless - this is food that it passed it's 'sell by' but not 'eat by' date. We are in discussions with Crisis Fareshare to extend this as they expand their collection areas.

We are at present carrying out a technology review on waste management options regarding product waste including the potential for composting, anaerobic digestion and CHP applications. It is hoped that this will lead to a massive reduction in the amount of this waste being sent to landfill over the next two years.