When there is no permitted landfill alternative, on-site food waste digesters are appealing, especially with the wide range of systems offered in the market. In general, digesters use enzymes or other technologies to convert the food waste at an accelerated rate into either an effluent or a soil amendment. Proper disposal of the system end product is essential for integrity to prevail throughout the process.
|WOP employee happy to|
show the on-farm digester
For those in urban settings, the effluent generally flows into the local sewer system. It is important to monitor the effluent composition to ensure unintended consequences do not occur in the sewer system and the downstream waterways.
Elemental Impact Partner Global Enviro's on-site technology produces a quality soil amendment that may be direct-applied to soil or sent to a composting operation. The Global Enviro system comes in various sizes designed to service operations ranging from single-standing restaurants to large event venues. In the New York City area, Global Enviro has three successfully installed systems in operation: The Shops @ Riverside, The Hotel Intercontinental and Les Halles.
|Food waste grinder in Les Halles kitchen|
For details, see the tour pictorial recap in the Ei FB album, 11-05-12 Global Enviro System Tour. The Global Enviro NJ Video is an overview of operations at The Shops @ Riverside. In Norway, the Global Enviro system was installed several years ago at the Oslo Opera House - the Oslo video shows how the system works in a large, multi-kitchen facility.
|Global Enviro system end product|
Until recently, most A.D. systems in the market place were configured for a municipality or possibly a generator with tremendous food waste output and high electricity usage. Biosolid A.D. systems are common in city water treatment facilities and communities are starting to explore the option of adding food waste to the system's recipe mix.
|OSM BlueStreams PAD|
According to the U.S. Composting Council, there are less than 300 permitted compost facilities in the nation that accept food waste. In regions like the Northeast where tipping fees are in the $100 per ton plus range, the investment required to install food waste systems like Global Enviro's make good business sense, especially for higher volume facilities.
Advancing Technology continues to expand horizons on the options available for food waste, . As the tides turn, food waste may soon be supported by a commodity market where generators are PAID for the material. A wild concept? Cooking oil from foodservice fryers took a similar journey a few years back - time will reveal HOW food waste becomes too valuable for a landfill destination.