UK: Chingford Fruit goes for green; reducing waste, supporting carbon efficiency

Kent based Chingford Fruit is investing in green initiatives that are helping the business become increasingly environmentally friendly, reducing waste and supporting carbon efficiency. The initiatives also ensure the business is as cost effective as possible.

Zero to Landfill
Over the last four years Kent based Chingford Fruit has became a Zero to Landfill company. By working alongside their recycling management partner, Elite Recycling Solutions, the bulk of its waste materials is recycled at a local recycling plant.

All plastic waste from Chingford Fruit is sorted at a recycling plant in Cambridge. With the use of new technology the plant can effectively and efficiently recycle all plastic types.

Colin Ormerod, Central services Manager at Chingford Fruit: “Any palettes that we no longer need are resold within the industry. We ensure that any damaged palettes are sent to L & J Packaging, who repair and restore and then sell on. If the palette is damaged beyond repair it is broken down into biomass that is used for renewable energy.”

One of Chingford Fruit’s main waste materials is cardboard. This is transported to Germany, on empty trucks that are returning to the country. This ensures the transport of the cardboard is as carbon neutral as possible.

Chingford Fruit’s Zero to Landfill policy saves the business approximately £220k per year.

LED Lighting
Chingford Fruit is investing over £175,000 to convert all lighting across its site to LED lighting. This move will not only cut energy usage by 80%, it will reduce the amount of energy needed to maintain the temperature of the refrigeration unit.

Chingford Fruit have been working with a local company, award winning 8point3 Ltd, to manufacture the LED lighting strips, which have been developed to incorporate LED lighting and UV LED lighting.

The benefit of commissioning two types of light within one strip is that it produces a better quality of fruit due to the UV light highlighting any translucent waste, known as Citrus “blind waste”, when the fruit is passing the sorting line.

Darren Burrows, Commercial Director at 8point3 said: “LED lighting is particularly suitable for the fresh produce industry where refrigeration is a key part of the operation. Unlike traditional lighting, LED gives off very little residual heat, significantly lowering the energy required to maintain temperature within refrigeration units and adding to the already considerable energy savings of up to 80 per cent from LED when used with intelligent controls technology. An additional benefit is that when installed into lower temperature environments, LED fittings perform more efficiently and the lifespan is extended."

The luminaires that have been installed at the premises are a mixture of high bay fittings for the production areas including the coldstores and predominantly recessed panel luminaires with integrated Lutron RF Energi TriPak controls for the office areas.
Fruit waste to electricity
Generating electricity from fruit waste is nothing new, but it is an integral part of Chingford Fruit’s business. Without this initiative any fruit waste would literally go to waste and incur labour and time costs to dispose of it.

Chingford Fruit supply their fruit waste to Guy & Wright, a local farm, who grow tomato plants for one of the UK’s top supermarkets. The initiative generates enough thermal and electrical energy for the 3 acre farm to be completely self sufficient and sustainable.

Colin Ormerod stated: “Anaerobic digestion of fruit waste is a natural biological process that needs a constant supply of organic material. The fruit waste is fed into a hand built digestion unit, and then bacteria break down the waste and emit methane. The methane is burned In a CHP turbine and generates electricity.

“Often the farm produces more electricity than it needs to run. In this circumstance, surplus electricity is sold back to the National Grid through Green energy, who in turn sell the electricity to a UK National Retailer."

For more information:
Lisa Addie
or Gillian Hamilton
Tel: +44 0131 454 2030

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