The Co-operative Group has revised its goal of sending zero food waste to landfill after rolling out a recycling scheme to over 2,800 stores across Britain. reports that the group had been expected to divert all food-store waste from landfill by the end of the year, but company directors now believe July is a realistic target.

The UK retailer introduced a waste segregation scheme at 1,500 stores earlier this year and after a successful trial period, this will now be applied to thousands more belonging to the chain. Referred to as the waste back-haul initiative, this sees workers separating waste on site before storing it in recycling bins for collection and delivery from the Co-operative’s logistics service.

Waste management firm Biffa has been hired to store the waste at its warehouses and sort the items into various categories, which could go on to generate biogas energy, produce fuel or create new products.   

In its latest Ethical Plan, the Co-op said the recycling drive could save more than 34,000 tonnes of food-store waste from going to landfill each year, whilst eliminating around 225,000 waste collections in the same time period.

David Roberts, director of trading property at The Co-operative Food, told “After a lot of hard work we have created a unique initiative which brings all-round benefits to our stores across the country and the local communities in which they serve, as well as the environment and the business.”   

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