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Thursday, 21 May 2015 10:45

Landfill redundant as Nestlé uses waste 'chocolate soup' for energy and water

Nestlé's factory near Newcastle upon Tyne is now converting a 'chocolate soup' of four tonnes of solid waste and 200,000 litres of liquid waste into renewable energy and clean water each day.

nestle chocolate soupAnd one year on from launch, Nestlé has achieved its target of zero waste to landfill at the factory, thanks to the installation of an anaerobic digester.

The Fawdon based factory is home to famous brands including Rolo, Toffee Crisp and Caramac, where its sweet waste is turned into a 'chocolate soup'.

This 'soup' is then fed into an airtight tank, the anaerobic digester, where bacteria decomposes the material and converts it into by-products such as the renewable energy, biogas

The biogas produced fuels a combined heat and power engine, which produces 200kW of electricity, meeting about 8% of the sites energy needs.

Since launch a year ago, the system has also significantly improved the quality of the water discharged from the factory. The equivalent of 41 Olympic-size swimming pools of clean water has been released from the site in the past year.

Greenhouse gas emissions at the factory have also improved, falling by approximately 10% as a result of the heat and power generated from the biogas produced at the Fawdon site.

Andrew Griffiths, Sustainability Manager, Nestlé Fawdon said: "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, used as feed stock or landfill systems and generate methane and other greenhouse gas emissions."

The digester at Nestlé's biggest UK factory in Fawdon, was introduced as part of Nestlé UK & Ireland's commitment to achieve zero waste for disposal in 10% of its factories by 2015, a target achieved two years early in 2013.

Across Europe, Nestlé is increasing its zero waste commitment, stating that all of 150 factories do not send waste to landfill by 2020.

To help reduce the company's carbon footprint and improve the environmental impact of the Fawdon factory, Nestlé turned to UK based renewable energy company Clearfleau to build a bespoke industrial anaerobic digestion system.

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