IKEA saves money through in- store food recycling scheme - Wrap

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IKEA saves money through in- store food recycling scheme - Wrap

Case Study: IKEA

IKEA saves money through instore

food recycling scheme

Background

In October 2009, the well-known Swedish

furniture store IKEA partnered with Cyrenians

Organics Waste Recycling (CORE) to

implement a new approach to food waste

management in its Edinburgh store. Working

with CORE, IKEA was able to recycle food

waste and turn it into a useful product with

many different future uses. CORE is a social

enterprise founded in 2009, now part of the

MITIE Group. CORE established itself as the

1

first company in Scotland to offer an

economically viable alternative to landfill for

commercial and industrial food waste.

An in-depth assessment of IKEA’s food waste

practices highlighted that food waste was

produced mainly in the kitchen and cafeteria,

where a variety of different meals are served

to customers. Prior to October 2009, all food

waste from this store was placed with the

general waste and sent to landfill.

Key facts

6% less waste

sent to landfill as

a result of

recycling food.

99% of all food

waste produced in

store segregated

and sent for

recycling.

Significant

reductions in

greenhouse gas

emissions.

£1,200

approximate

savings each

month from

diverting landfill

costs.


Case Study

IKEA saves money through in-store food recycling scheme

How was the food recycling scheme

implemented?

Food recycling was introduced to the IKEA

store in Edinburgh using a two-phase

approach and by creating a key partnership

with CORE. Starting in October 2009, IKEA

successfully introduced the segregation of all

food waste produced during the on-site food

preparation process. This waste is now sent

for treatment in the local anaerobic digestion

plant, where it is processed to make fertiliser

and energy.

In June 2011, phase two of the food recycling

project started. This was targeted at tackling

the food waste produced in the cafeteria,

which was mainly composed of consumer

leftovers.

This phase involved IKEA doubling the size of

the cafeteria area and implementing a highly

efficient segregation scheme in the public

areas. A central recycling hub was built in the

cafeteria, with a three-bin system for food

waste, general waste and recycling. The hub

is user friendly and clearly explains to

customers where to place their waste, what

can be recycled and what goes to landfill.

Staff engagement was also seen to have an

important role, so detailed practical training

sessions on recycling were delivered to all of

the store’s cafeteria staff. The result of this

training was a 98% engagement rate from

staff within the first week.

The results

Before October 2009, no food waste was

recycled at IKEA’s Edinburgh store. Between

October 2009 and May 2011, CORE collected

an average of 2.1 tonnes each month from the

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kitchen. Phase two started in June 2011 and

in the six-month period between July and

December 2011 the average collection was 6.5

tonnes each month.

As a result of staff training and clear signage

that engaged customers, less than 3% of the

food waste collected had other materials in it;

significantly better than the national average.

Ninety-nine per cent of the food waste

collected by CORE was then processed at the

local anaerobic digestion plant and used to

produce both a nutrient-rich fertiliser for use

by farmers and a methane-rich biogas that

can be used to generate electricity to be fed

back into the National Grid.

Benefits

Food recycling represents a closed-loop

process, as the waste is turned into a material

that is resold as a fertiliser/soil conditioner

and used by farmers to grow more food. Food

recycling has clear benefits for businesses, as

well as a positive impact on the economy and

the environment. Recycling food enables

businesses not only to be compliant with the

new Waste (Scotland) Regulations, but also to

make financial savings and promote corporate

responsibility, which can, in turn, lead to

additional benefits such as an improved

customer base.

Implementing this food waste recycling

process has had significant financial and

environmental benefits. The store has

significantly reduced its greenhouse gas

emissions, saving 15.2 tonnes of carbon

dioxide and 6.8 tonnes of methane each

month, and creating monthly financial savings

of £1,200.

While steps have been taken to ensure its accuracy, Zero Waste Scotland cannot accept responsibility or be held liable to any person for loss or damage arising out of or in connection with this

information being inaccurate, incomplete or misleading. This material is copyrighted. It may be reproduced free of charge subject to the material being accurate and not used in a misleading context.

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