This UK supermarket gets all of its power from rotting vegetables

uk supermarket gets power rotting vegetables grocery store
You probably don’t think about it, but the amount of food that’s wasted each day by restaurants, supermarkets, and individual consumers is nothing short of staggering. By some estimates, as much as 40 percent of the total food produced in the world is wasted, and sent off to rot in a landfill somewhere. But one company is pioneering a solution to this problem, and has cooked up a way to put all that refuse to good use.

Sainsbury’s, a popular UK supermarket chain, is taking sustainable power to a whole new level by transforming it’s own food waste into usable electricity. The company’s store in Cannock, in central England, is now run entirely from energy harvested from recycled refuse. In other words, the food that doesn’t get purchased and has to be thrown out is instead collected, and used to –quite literally– keep the lights on. Here’s a quick rundown of how it all works:

To start, any food that’s gone bad (and can’t be donated to local charity organizations or turned into livestock feed) is collected by Sainsbury’s fleet of vans and transported to a nearby anaerobic digestion plant run by a company called Biffa. Here, the food is placed inside of a large, oxygen-free chamber in which special microorganisms are introduced. Slowly but surely, these little guys help break down the organic material inside the chamber, and collectively produce a large amount of biomethane gas, which is used to power the store.

Biffa’s processing plant providies energy to more than just Sainsbury’s, but recently, a 1.5-kilometer cable (slightly less than a mile) was installed that connects the store directly to the processing plant, making it the first major retailer that isn’t reliant on the country’s national grid for its power.

Obviously, this novel setup wouldn’t work everywhere, but even so, it stands as a shining example of how sustainable, eco-friendly business practices can actually be profitable if implemented correctly. For more info, head over to BBC and check out their video interview with Sainsbury’s Head of Sustainability, Paul Crewe.

Smart Home

With Personal Food Computers, nerd farmers are finding the best way to grow

MIT research scientist Caleb Harper wants to grow basil designed to prevent heart disease. It involves a personal food computer, climate manipulation, and open sourcing food. One day, your doctor could prescribe you a diet of food grown…
Emerging Tech

NASA’s ‘space wheat’ is helping earthbound farmers grow crops quicker

Could NASA technology for growing plants on other planets help farmers improve crop yield here on Earth? According to researchers in Australia and the U.K., the answer is a resounding yes.

15 tips for keeping your vault-dwellers alive in ‘Fallout Shelter’

The wasteland can be an unfriendly place, if you don't know what you're doing. Here are 15 tips that will help your vault thrive in Fallout Shelter, including information on questing.
Emerging Tech

Stronger than steel, thinner than paper, graphene could be the future of tech

Since its discovery, graphene has set the research world on fire. What exactly is it, though, and what could it mean for the future of tech? Here's everything you need to know about what could be the next supermaterial to take center stage.
Emerging Tech

Step inside the Nepalese restaurant staffed by robot waiters

A robotics startup from Nepal has created a robot waiter called Ginger. It's capable of delivering food from kitchen to table, and can even engage customers in a bit of friendly banter as it does so.
Emerging Tech

Doctors could soon ditch stitches and seal skin wounds with lasers

Just like the dermal regenerator in Star Trek, physicians may soon be able to heal skin wounds using smart, laser-based technology. That's thanks to researchers from Arizona State University.
Emerging Tech

From tornado flushes to remote controls, modern toilets are flush with tech

With the global observance of World Toilet Day on November 19, we take a look at how the modern toilet in our homes and businesses have evolved, and how they are becoming smarter tools in the future.
Emerging Tech

NASA selects the all-important landing site for its Mars 2020 rover mission

NASA said on Monday that the landing site for its much-anticipated Mars 2020 rover mission has the potential to "revolutionize how we think about Mars and its ability to harbor life."
Emerging Tech

Toilet-scrubbing robot takes over one of the world’s crappiest jobs

When it comes to jobs that none of us enjoy, scrubbing the toilet would have to rank pretty highly. So why not hand the job over to robots? Very soon you might be able to do exactly that.

Cyber Monday 2018: When it takes place and where to find the best deals

Cyber Monday is still a ways off, but it's never too early to start planning ahead. With so many different deals to choose from during one of the biggest shopping holidays of the year, going in with a little know-how makes all the…
Emerging Tech

SpaceX’s Big Falcon Rocket goes bolder, changes its name to Starship

Elon Musk has revealed that he's changing the name of SpaceX's Big Falcon Rocket to the grander Starship. It's getting a redesign and may even be one day used to visit other star systems trillions of miles away.

This all-in-one shaving system lets you use over 40 blades from different brands

Trazor shaving system gives you the ability to shave using most of your favorite blades from various brands like Gillette and Schick. It even squirts out water, shaving gel, and aftershave making it an ideal solution for traveling.
Emerging Tech

The best drone photos from around the world

Most of today's drones come equipped with high-end cameras, which are quickly revolutionizing the world of aerial photography as we know it. Here are some of the best drone photos from around the world.
Emerging Tech

Internet of cows? Smart ear tag takes cattle tracking into the future

An Australian startup wants to bring cattle farming into the present day with smart ear tags capable of revealing where herds are grazing, and even if animals are sick or about to give birth.