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Zero to landfill

By Sarah Groves, also posted in News on

Wildflowers growing at the Reydon Distribution CentreAdnams diverts all of its waste from landfill* via recycling, converting it to energy and reusing a whopping 67% to feed the cattle of East Anglia. We produce around 700 tonnes of waste each month – that’s about the same bulk as 140 male African elephants. As a brewer and distiller, most of our waste comes from production, so over two-thirds can be re-used immediately as animal feed. Interestingly, its been shown that a cow fed on our spent grain emits around 40% less methane than it would do if it were eating grass (there’s a great pub quiz question for you!). 29% of our waste is recovered into bio-methane in our anaerobic digester at Reydon, 2% is recycled and 2% is recovered into electrical energy. As with many things in life, the 80:20 rule applies to our waste management strategy. When we started working on reducing and monitoring our waste, we discovered that we could make a reduction on 80% of our waste by tackling a couple of key areas, but the remaining 20% would take much more effort to cut down. Ben with a lightweight Adnams beer bottleBen Orchard, our Environmental Sustainability Manager, has spent many months on finding suppliers that can successfully recycle or reprocess waste materials from multiple locations (such as our shops, managed inns and hotels). He’s found suppliers that can recycle cardboard and multiple types of plastics, and a company that can reprocess cooking oil to create biodiesel. Food waste from our managed inns and cafés is also sent to our anaerobic digester. We now collect our plastic shives and keystones used in barrels of beer and send those to be reprocessed. Simply by diverting food waste from landfill via our anaerobic digester saves around 8,700 tonnes carbon per year in addition to the carbon saved from creating renewable, clean gas. We’re also working to reduce consumer waste by charging for plastic bags which raises money for the Suffolk Wildlife Trust (you can read more about this here), supplying ‘Bags for Life’ and reducing the weight of our glass bottles. *Of course, there’s always more to do. We are aware of the wider impact our waste has, even beyond the treatment centres (such as the residual ash from energy from waste plants), so it is never a 'done job' and Ben is always chasing down more improvements!    


Sarah Groves