When trying to reduce your carbon footprint, often people think about recycling their garbage or waste. But what if there was another way to help offset your corporate footprint. By using a process known as Liquid Food Composting,hundreds of thousands of tons of food waste can be diverted away from the landfill. This simple solution cans significantly reduce the carbon footprint for conventional cafeterias and food services by more than 100%.
President of Power Knot LLC., Iain Milnes said, “When food is discarded into a landfill it degrades into methane, (CH4) causing huge effects on the atmosphere. According to Power Knot, 1 ton of waste food releases 4.2 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere.
Milnes said, “We design and manufacture a Liquid Food Composter which digests waste food.” “We sell that to commercial and military establishments.” The idea behind the LFC is to reduce costs for disposal at the landfill for food waste products. Milnes said, “When waste food goes to the landfill it decomposes into methane, which is 72 times worse for the atmosphere than Carbon Dioxide.”
The idea behind the LFC is to produce an aerobic way to reduce food waste. Milnes said, “The CO2 is returned to the atmosphere which was used to create that food in the first place.” The LFC works so well it reduces the possibility of releasing CH4 into the air, while creating a carbon neutral disposal system for food waste. “When it decomposes inside our machine the carbon is a full carbon cycle,” Milnes said. “The output from the machine is transformed into water and heat.” The output is often referred to as grey water or reusable water for gardening or other outdoor uses.
Milnes said, “For most business they are paying a certain amount to get rid of their trash on a per tonnage basis.” The LFC will begin to pay for itself when a business begins to pay more than $40 per ton of food waste. Costs can range from $20 – $25 a ton in places like Texas where there is only an operational incentive, not an environmental incentive to help reduce carbon impacts on the environment. However, areas such as New York City, the cost can be as high as $250 a ton. “In Miami its $150 a ton,” Milnes said. “The machine can pay for itself from four to eighteen months, based on the cost of getting rid of the trash.”
One of the smaller LFC machines digests about 150 pounds of food waste a day. Power Knot assembles the LFC in Milpitas , California . New LFCs can be shipped in a week’s time after the order. Milnes said, “The machine is installed on the customer’s site, but assembled by us at our site.” However it would require up to a month’s time for more than five machines to be delivered.
Recently Power Knot was able to sell several machines to Fort Bragg in North Carolina. Milnes said, “The U.S. Army is reducing its food waste by 100% for cafeterias and food centers.” With more than 50 tons going to the land fill in a single day, using a LFC could be cut down the cost of 1000’s of tons per day to just a few 100 tons in a matter of weeks. This is an incredible turnaround for helping eliminating food waste, along with alternative sugar based biodegradable packaging products that can be substituted for other packaging materials..
One of a more recent purchaser of the LFC is Fujitsu. According to Robert Curtis, Environmental, Health and Safety & Security Services Specialist at Fujitsu, “We realize that the waste food we discarded had a huge impact on our carbon footprint and we needed to solve the problem.” Curtis said, “The machine has the potential of diverting 26,000 pounds of waste food from the landfill annually.”
By simply turning on the machine the touch screen LCD readout can quickly tell you about how much food waste, along with how much Carbon Dioxide have been offset by millions of tiny micro-organisms used in the process. There is also a connector that allows a user through Google cloud to statistical data on what is happening from a different location of where the LFC machine is operating.
Milnes said, “Water goes in to keep the live organisms moist that enable the digestive process.” The machine uses standard types of hoses that a regular household would use for a clothes washer, or dish washing machine for hot and cold water.
There is a very fine mesh screen at the bottom. Milnes said, “So as the waste is digested the water goes through the fine mesh screen and then goes down the drain.” The machine itself can weigh the amount of waste food that is digested daily in the machine. “It’s not a grinding process it’s a true digestive process,” Milnes said.
For more information how you can get started in aerobic digestion for your food service go to http://www.powerknot.com/liquid_food_composter.html.