Food waste is an opportunity disguised as a problem for Pennsylvania households, grocery stores, restaurants, and municipalities.
According to USEPA, food waste accounts for 14 percent of the total municipal solid waste which can be reduced, or recycled to produce energy. Reducing the amount of food scrap or recycling it, offers many economic and environmental benefits.
It can help you in saving money by:
- Directly reducing the food purchasing costs because you only buy what you actually need.
- Decreasing disposal costs and sewer costs because excess food does not go down the drain in sewerage pipelines.
- Increasing profits earned from selling compost generated from organic waste.
Proper disposal of food waste benefits the environment by:
- Reducing the emission of greenhouse gases like methane and carbon dioxide.
- Making the environment pleasant by reducing bad odors of the spoiled food.
- Improving soil health
All these benefits can be obtained by managing the food scrap appropriately. Food scrap management can be done in six ways.
1. Source Reduction
The first way of food scrap management is to restrict or reduce the generation of food scrap by limiting the purchase of food. This can be achieved by auditing the food waste; assess the type and amount of food waste generated in your home or restaurant.
This food waste audit can help households determine if they can reduce the food waste by purchasing less. Similarly, restaurants can also conduct this food audit to determine if they need to produce less amount of food to reduce the generation of food waste.
2. Feed Hungry People
The second way aims at using the food scrap smartly. Food waste that is appropriate for human consumption can be donated to the needy people or NGOs; some of them even offer free pickups and containers for your food waste.
3. Feed Hungry Animals
Food scrap can also be used to feed animals by donating it to farmers and zoos.
There are laws which regulate the food donation to humans and animals; make sure to study these laws or contact the local health department to save you from any legal problems.
4. Industrial Uses
There are many industrial uses of food scrap; it is used to produce animal feed, fuel oil, etc
Composting is the process of breaking down of organic waste which produces compost that can be used as a natural fertilizer. Composting is another way to manage the food waste.
This is the last resort for disposal of food scrap. The food scrap can be incinerated or diverted to landfills; both lead to generation of greenhouse gases that cause environmental pollution.
The organic waste can also be used to generate electricity by anaerobic digestion. In this process, micro-organisms break down the organic waste to produce Bio gas which is used to generate electricity.
Energy Recyclers is a Pennsylvania-based renewable energy generation company that generates electricity from organic waste in a cost-effective, eco-friendly manner.
If you are interested in learning how food waste can be recycled to generate energy in green way, you can contact Energy Recyclers.