McDonald's is "helping to power homes and buildings across the UK" in a London-based initiative that diverts restaurant waste away from landfill sites and converts it into energy, the fast food giant said today.
The company said the scheme - the second phase of a programme that launched in Sheffield in 2007 - has reduced its carbon emissions in waste management by 48% at the 25 London restaurants participating.
Under the scheme, restaurant waste is collected by Veolia Environmental Services and sent to South East London Combined Heat and Power, the energy recovery facility.
It is then converted into energy that is then channelled into the National Grid and used to power homes and businesses across the UK, including those in the capital.
David Fairhurst, senior vice president for McDonald's UK & Northern Europe, said: "It is very encouraging that the initiative has already reduced our environmental impact in the area by 48%. We see this as another significant step on our journey towards zero waste to landfill and we will continue to work to identify other regions of the UK in which the scheme can be replicated."
McDonald's "energy from waste" initiative aims to divert 2,500 tonnes of waste from landfill every year. Once it has been converted to energy and channelled into the national grid it will generate enough energy to power 22m light-bulbs for one hour - the equivalent of an evening's worth of light for every home in London, the company said.
McDonald's is to close its three restaurants in Iceland on Saturday (31 October), it emerged yesterday.
Jon Ogmundsson, who has run the franchise since 2004, said the severe depreciation of the Icelandic krona and high taxes on imported food meant it was no longer viable to run the restaurants.
A Big Mac in Reykjavik sells for about £3.20, but the 20% price rise required to turn a decent profit would have pushed the price tag closer to £3.86 - more than anywhere else in the world.
By Daniel Thomas
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