Many clients create food waste and other organic waste materials that have value. Management of these resources should follow a hierarchy of declining value with the highest value being human nutrition and the lowest value composting.
Waste Management can analyze a client’s generation of organic food waste to establish a management program that matches the market opportunities to the highest resource value, generally involving the following options:
Donation to Food Banks and Food Rescue Organizations
Many local and national charitable organizations can offer pick-up logistics for perishable food items from the customer’s locations to locally feed people in need.
Direct Feeding to Livestock or Raw Material for Manufactured Animal Feed
Many times, excess food and food product manufacturing by-products can be channeled into an animal feed application. Opportunities vary considerably by type of waste, regional capabilities and regulatory requirements.
Anaerobic Digestion (AD)
A currently small but growing option for organic waste utilization is energy recovery through anaerobic digestion. The biogas produced through this process has a fuel value and can be used to create heat and power at the AD facility. In addition to the biogas, AD also creates a solid end product that can be composted to create soil nutrients.
Composting can convert the broadest range of organic waste materials into valued finished product. Source points of food waste are supermarkets, restaurants, food processing by-products, landscaping wastes, wood wastes and some bio-sludges. The composting process creates a product that is valued and offers a number of benefits:
- Saving money by conserving water in the soil and reducing the commercial fertilizer requirements
- Improving soil health
- Preventing soil erosion