Over 200 of The Midcounties Co-operative’s food retail stores are recycling more than 90 per cent of their waste with help from waste and recycling company Biffa.
The Midcounties Co-operative is the largest independent co-operative in the UK with gross sales of over £1bn, and an ongoing commitment to sustainability.
As of 2014, all of the Society’s food stores are achieving at least a 90 per cent recycling rate. This impressive landfill diversion has been achieved through a combination of practical action and successful colleague engagement.
In addition, more than 200 food stores are now backhauling their waste to distribution centres, reducing transport miles and increasing the environmental benefits of recycling.
Overall, The Midcounties Co-operative is diverting over 4,000 tonnes of waste each year from landfill and saving £280,000 annually in landfill costs.
Waste and recycling partner Biffa has been providing guidance and support to help develop workable systems that everybody at the Society can participate in. Starting with the introduction of dry mixed recycling across all its sites five years ago, The Midcounties Co-operative made sure all colleagues were engaged and involved, creating a positive impact on the success of the scheme.
To lead the drive for better recycling, over 100 environmental champions were appointed to take personal responsibility for recycling rates at their stores. Then in 2011, the Society and Biffa brokered a deal to have all food waste treated by anaerobic digestion, converting unsellable food into clean, green energy.
A Recycling Awards Programme created a competitive culture between sites, with the Grove Food Store in Oxford achieving 99 per cent recycling by the end of 2012. Through healthy competition and with Biffa’s help installing the right facilities across all their sites, The Midcounties Co-operative is leading by example and is an ambassador for recycling and sustainability.
Mike Pickering, Sustainability Manager at The Midcounties Co-operative, said: “It is testament to the hard work of our colleagues and the support of partners like Biffa that we have been able to significantly improve our recycling processes.
“We’re committed to creating sustainable communities, and are constantly looking for more ways to reduce our carbon footprint.”
The Society has also been awarded by Business in the Community (BITC), the Corporate Responsibility Index and the Carbon Trust for its pioneering environmental work.
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Notes to editors:
- Biffa was founded in 1913 and is the UK’s leading nationwide integrated waste management business that provides waste collection, treatment, recycling, energy from waste and recovery services. Biffa collects and processes 7.25 million tonnes of waste each year.
- Biffa is the UK’s leading nationwide integrated waste management business that provides waste collection, treatment, recycling and recovery services.
- Biffa provides waste management services for both commercial and industrial (business) and municipal (household) waste.
- Biffa works with businesses to reduce their environmental impact and waste costs across the following sectors: Construction, Education, Financial Institutes, Health, Social and Community, Manufacturing, Office Recycling, Printing and Publishing, Public Sector, Transport and Storage, Utilities, Wholesale, Retail and Hotels and Restaurants.
- Biffa ensures as much business waste as possible is diverted from landfill to recycling and energy recovery – reducing long-term costs and improving environmental performance.
- Biffa develops long-term partnerships with clients, bringing them the benefits of in-depth expertise, wide ranging industry experience and leading edge technological resources.