Pedal Power Demonstrates Importance Of Food Recycling

Local shoppers jump on 'smoothie bike' to drive a blender

Visitors to the Sainsbury’s superstore in Colliers Wood were invited to get on their bike as part of an initiative by Recycle for London to encourage local residents to recycle their household food waste. Recycled food waste can be used to generate green energy that could help power the local community.

Shoppers were given the opportunity to jump on a ‘smoothie bike’ that uses pedal power to drive a blender, producing fresh fruit smoothies and demonstrating the connection between green energy and food.

The event was part of a campaign by Recycle for London to raise awareness of the importance of recycling household food waste, following recent calculations which show that one year’s worth of Merton’s domestic food waste could generate enough electricity to power a local primary school for up to nine years.

In fact it takes just six recycled tea bags to produce enough electricity to boil a kettle, so recycling everyday food waste items such as banana skins, egg shells and plate scrapings could make an enormous difference if every Merton resident were to make food waste recycling a regular habit.

Kate Hampshire, Eco coordinator, Wimbledon Chase Primary School, said: “It’s incredible that one year’s worth of Merton’s domestic food waste could generate enough electricity to power a school like ours for up to nine years – longer than the full primary education of one of our pupils!”

“We’re playing our part by recycling food waste generated by the school kitchen, and we also encourage pupils to recycle the waste from the fruit and veg they eat at break time – everything goes straight into the compost.”

Recycle for London and Sainsbury’s are running similar ‘smoothie bike’ events in four other London boroughs to help raise awareness of weekly food waste collection services.

Paul Crewe, Head of Sustainability - Energy, Engineering & Environment for Sainsbury's, said: "We all hate seeing food thrown away, which is why we’re working with communities across the UK to help reduce food waste. However there are always going to be some instances where food goes in the bin, which is where food recycling comes into play. By disposing of items in a food waste bin, you can help create green, renewable energy, so our towns will be running on rubbish.”

“We hope that by working with Recycle for London we’ll be able to provide the information customers need to reduce that unavoidable food waste."

For full details on what food waste you can recycle and to find out how your waste is converted to energy, visit:

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April 26, 2017