Coles partners with Cleanaway to convert waste into fuel

Coles trials first zero waste to landfill supermarket in partnership with Cleanaway.

A Coles supermarket in Sydney’s west has become the first Australian supermarket to trial zero waste to landfill, as one of several initiatives to help Coles meet its commitment to become Australia’s most sustainable supermarket.

As part of a trial, the supermarket in Wentworth Point is sending zero waste to landfill, preventing the equivalent of 6 ½ shopping trolleys going to landfill each day.

The purpose of the trial is to change in-store processes, put greater focus on source separation, and to partner with new facilities to use waste as a resource.

This will mean more packaged and unpackaged food, cardboard, plastic, metal, glass, wax boxes, polystyrene and timber will be diverted from landfill.

Coles chief property and export officer Thinus Keeve said the trial of a zero waste to landfill store will help Coles find new ways to reduce waste in stores.

“Waste management is a key component of the sustainability of any business and reducing waste is a very important issue for our customers,” said Thinus.

“Everyone knows Australia has challenges in how we deal with our waste. That goes for everyone from households sorting their recycling to businesses like Coles. We all have a responsibility to play our part.”

The zero waste to landfill trial store will find new ways to recover residual dry waste such as mixed plastic and timber which historically has been the most difficult to divert from landfill.

Coles is partnering with Cleanaway to recover energy from this waste through the Cleanaway ResourceCo Recovery Facility (RRF) in Wetherill Park.

The facility uses dry waste to produce Process Engineered Fuel (PEF), which is then used to offset the demands of heavy industry for fossil fuels.

Cleanaway’s Alex Hatherley, regional manager, solid waste services NSW, said “This is a great solution for Coles stores that produce high volumes of mixed back-of-house plastics but want to achieve a zero waste to landfill goal.”

“Our facility is unique in its ability to divert commercial dry waste from landfill, recover recyclable materials and then convert the remaining combustibles to a sustainable fuel source, PEF.” Alex explained.

Doug Elliss, general manager of the Cleanaway ResourceCo Wetherill Park facility said, “We’re playing a key role in Australia’s future sustainable energy mix by reducing waste that would otherwise go to landfill and lowering carbon emissions through production of a commercially viable sustainable fuel.”

The trial comes as Coles Group has released its first Sustainability Report as a standalone publicly listed company which sets out Coles commitment to reducing its environmental impact including working towards diverting 90 per cent of waste from landfill by 2022.

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