McDonald’s aims to turn waste into energy

McDonald’s is ramping up its environmental activities with an initiative that will see waste from its restaurants turned into energy.

The fast-food chain is rolling out the second phase of its “energy from waste” programme by diverting waste from 25 London restaurants away from landfill sites and converting it into energy.

McDonald’s plans to extend the scheme to other areas of the UK and increase its capacity across London as part of its mission to send zero waste to landfill.

Restaurant waste is collected by McDonald’s-branded Veolia Environmental Services trucks and taken to an energy recovery facility in the capital, from where the end product goes into the National Grid.

McDonald’s claims the initiative will divert 2,500 tonnes of waste from landfill each year and generate enough energy to power 22 million light bulbs for an hour.

David Fairhurst, senior vice-president of McDonald’s UK and Northern Europe, says the initiative is “not a token gesture”, adding businesses must do genuinely environmental things instead of making promises with no action.

He adds that consumers are looking to businesses to take a “responsible position” and want to feel that McDonald’s is “genuinely doing the right thing”.

The London initiative has already reduced carbon emissions by 48%, according to The Carbon Trust.

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