While we are becoming increasingly conscious about the environmental impact of our actions, we still have a long way to go when it comes to waste disposal. Businesses discard about £3.2 billion worth of food every year in the UK alone, and about 40% of this food waste by volume is sent to landfills.
Apart from the noxious smells released by landfill waste, the breakdown of the waste matter leads to the formation of methane, a greenhouse gas that traps even more heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide does.
Clearly, how businesses dispose of their food waste needs to change — and steps are already being taken in that direction.
What is Aerobic Digestion?
Innovative new green technologies are making their presence felt in the hospitality industry, chief among which is Aerobic Digestion. This process involves the use of digesters that break down food waste into three elements — heat, water and carbon dioxide, which are one-twentieth as potent as methane in its greenhouse capacity.
These digesters can decompose between 20 and 500 kilograms of food over 24 hours and use natural bacteria for the process.
2. Technology can help save our environment and generate revenue
Another form of waste disposal that has gained immense popularity in recent years is Anaerobic Digestion. The two are often confused, not the least because of the similarity in terminology, but are, in fact, quite different. Let us examine how:
- With Aerobic Digestion, as the name suggests, the decomposition of organic waste happens in the presence of oxygen. And with Anaerobic Digestion, the decomposition occurs in the absence of oxygen.
- The Aerobic Digestion process takes anywhere between 24 hours to five days to complete. The Anaerobic Digestion process, however, may take up to a year.
- The organic residue left after Anaerobic Digestion is a semi-solid material that is commonly pasteurized and used as a bio-fertiliser or as feedstock for Anaerobic Digesters.
- Aerobic Digestion can happen at a smaller scale and is thus easy to implement in-house by commercial kitchens. Anaerobic Digestion, however, calls for large-scale equipment that is not easy to replicate at the commercial level.
How Aerobic Digestion can manage food waste efficiently and affordably
The majority of businesses that wish to process their food waste through Anaerobic Digestion need to have it transported to a digester facility, which can be expensive when done regularly.
Plus, waste transportation raises concerns about the staff members’ efficient handling, carbon dioxide emissions along the way, and possible spillages.
By contrast, Aerobic Digestion technology is now possible through individual commercial units that restaurants and bars can use on their premises. There are several benefits to doing so, in fact, that deserves a closer look:
- Digesting food waste on the premises avoids extra waste sent to landfills, thus reducing methane emissions and the leaching of toxins into the environment.
- By not having to transport waste to an external facility, carbon dioxide emissions are cut down too.
- All of the food waste can be processed efficiently by the digester at one go, avoiding accumulation in dustbins and cutting down odours. This will provide both staff members and guests with a pleasant environment.
- Aerobic Digesters have digital monitoring capabilities that allow the business to track which foods are going to waste and thus adjust their inventory patterns over time. This will help save on costs too.
- Finally, the use of digital Aerobic Digesters means that staff hours can be diverted to other critical tasks, as waste handling time is at a minimum.
Sustainability is at the core of Aerobic Digestion
As the world works towards a circular economy where waste and carbon emissions are minimised, it is clear that Aerobic Digestion does its bit to benefit the community and keep food waste woes at bay in a scalable and sustainable way.
If you are looking for a system that converts food waste into energy, you have to check out our iD-R Aerobic Digestion systems.
Technology can help save our environment and generate revenue
A unique blend of naturally occurring bacteria and carefully balanced climatic conditions support the process. Within 24 hours, the food waste is reduced by up to 70% to digestate, the low moisture, soil-like compound.
Simple to use, our iD-R-250 and iD-R-500 are significant food waste to energy converters that generate energy from your food waste on-site. They increase your cost savings and even give you a revenue generation opportunity.
Interested to know more? Contact our zero waste experts today!