November 17, 2020
OSI Europe’s Food Solutions and Foodworks sites are taking steps to reduce the quantity of waste ending up in landfill, with plants in Germany exceeding our goal to achieve zero waste to landfill by 2025. Across Europe, plants have made progress by eliminating any unnecessary waste and adopting alternative methods of waste management.
Unavoidable waste materials can be processed using numerous methods, including composting or using waste to energy technologies. The gold standard option for diverting waste from landfill is to recycle wherever possible.
WASTE COLLECTION FOR RECYCLING AND PROCESSING
Our Food Solutions plants in Germany have made exceptional use of the separate collection system which is in place for commercial waste, with 95% of all collected waste being separated into at least 12 categories. This maximizes the quantity of waste which can be directed for recycling.
In Germany, it is usual for anything that cannot be collected separately to be processed by incineration. The remaining 3-5% of waste from our plant is therefore processed in this way.
The heat released in this process may be used either to heat local homes directly or converted to electricity. Using energy generated from waste in this way contributes towards shaping a more circular economy, which is something OSI is striving to implement across the business.
PROCESSING WASTE USING ANAEROBIC DIGESTION
Anaerobic digestion technology provides a way to process waste to generate biogas for heating homes and businesses, and the organic digestate fertilizer which is also produced can be used in agriculture.
In the UK, OSI Europe Food Works site, Pickstock Telford, has had an onsite anaerobic digestor to process waste since 2017. This is proving fundamental in moving the plant towards achieving the zero waste to landfill goal. As it stands, only 0.8% of the plant’s waste is currently sent to landfill, the rest being used as an alternative feedstock for the anaerobic digestor, or sent for recycling.
At the Pickstock plant, animal waste materials are fed into the anaerobic digestor. The digestor is linked to a 499kWh combined heat and power (CHP) engine, which uses the biogas from the digestion process to generate heat and electricity to power the entire site, making it 100% energy self-sufficient.
SUPPORTING ZERO WASTE TO LANDFILL
OSI Europe is committed to achieving zero waste to landfill by 2025. As it stands, some countries do not yet have alternative infrastructure in place, making landfill the only option currently available for waste that cannot be recycled or otherwise processed in these locations.
OSI will continue tracking progress across Europe, ensuring plants avoid sending waste to landfill wherever possible, and will embrace the best possible alternatives such as recycling.