Great Forest has put together an overview of various food waste technologies that might be viable alternatives to the current practice of landfilling food waste. This will help you make a decision about the type of technologies your business should be exploring, and what would work best for your needs.
How Food Waste Technologies Can Help Address Organics
According to the US EPA, organic materials make up the single largest component of U.S. municipal solid waste, and accounts for a significant portion of U.S. methane emissions.
In the largest global study of commercial building waste, Great Forest found that organics consistently make up the largest portion of a building’s trash stream (36%).
With organics making up more than 1/3 of a typical business’s trash stream, addressing organics should be a priority for most businesses. On average, businesses save $7 for every $1 invested in food waste reduction, according to a study by Champions 1,2,3. That’s a seven-fold return on investment!
So how do you begin to address food waste?
- A waste audit is a good way to begin to assess how much food waste your business generates.
- Should your business start an organics program? How much does it cost? Read our guide to organics for businesses and organizations to see more composting FAQs.
- Should you explore technologies? Do you know the difference between anaerobic or aerobic digestion? Our food waste technologies guide can help.
The technologies examined in the Great Forest guide cater to the whole spectrum of food waste management opportunities, from small commercial establishments up to municipal-sized operations, and may be broken down into the three main categories of biological digestion, non-biological volume/weight reduction, and thermal processing.
We found that aerobic digestion to water technology seems to represent the greatest opportunity for food waste reduction at the lower end of the waste quantity spectrum.
At the larger end of the quantity spectrum (municipal level), we found that anaerobic digestion in conjunction with thermal hydrolysis technology seems to represent the greatest opportunity to not only reduce the quantity of food waste going to landfill, but also utilize the waste as a resource to generate energy, electricity and also net financial returns.
What food waste solution will work for you? Take a look.