McDonald’s rubbish to power hospitals

October 16, 2007 at 12:17 pm

Who said McDonald’s was bad for us? Well, they might want to eat their words because the global fast food giants have recently decided to lead the way in waste recycling, using it to generate heat and electrical power for communities here in the UK.

11 McDonald’s restaurants in Sheffield, Rotherham and Barnsley in South Yorkshire are taking part in a scheme that will aim to drastically cut down on the 100 tonnes of waste sent to landfill from one single McDonald’s restaurant each year. One of the reasons for the current landfill option is because the waste isn’t always completely devoid of food residue. However, this new scheme plans to work with various environmental agencies to turn the old packaging into new energy.

Waste will leave the 11 restaurants and be taken to modern facilities where advanced technology will convert the rubbish, along with other waste from the area, into stored electricity and heat. This will then be used to power a number of local buildings and community facilities. The Lyceum Theatre, the Millennium Gardens, Weston Park Hospital, Park Hill flats, Ponds Forge International Sports Centre and Sheffield City Hall are a few of the places that old rubbish from French Fries and Quarter Pounders will provide power for.

McDonald’s have been in the public spot-light for some time thanks to societies becoming increasingly more health conscious than ever before. The introduction of a more balanced and healthy menu sits alongside this venture as representing a shift in the ethics behind the company and of fast food chains overall.

The president chief of McDonald’s in the UK, Steve Easterbrook, said, “At the moment, it is difficult for companies like McDonald’s to recycle waste. Many recycling contractors refuse to take our waste because we cannot remove food from it completely. As a result, we have to send it landfill. This trial is an exciting opportunity to look at an alternative method of disposal with real benefits for the environmental and local community.”

In July 2007, McDonald’s announced plans to run their UK delivery fleet of lorries and trucks on biodiesel predominantly made from their own recycled cooking oils. The six million litres of regular diesel used by the fleet plans to be a thing of the past.

Furthermore, McDonald’s have also rolled out new environmentally friendly technologies and techniques within their restaurants. These include solar panels, wind power, recycling schemes for the large quantity of cardboard they use and also energy efficient lighting on their premises.

David Pratt, of the Carbon Trust, is working with McDonald’s on this new project and says, “We welcome the steps that McDonald’s are taking to reduce their emission as part of UK business efforts to fight climate change.”

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One response to “McDonald’s rubbish to power hospitals”

  1. Joely Clover says:

    I think recycling is a good idea but is incredibly expensive! I think if we are wanted to recycle it should be cheaper and more fair. It is unfair that only a small percentage of people recycle and those that do spend more money saving the planet than those that don’t bother.

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