Northgate Gonzalez Market has begun turning its food waste into energy using Emerson’s Grind2Energy system.
Using a special in-sink grinder, the retailer converts food scraps into a slurry, which is stored in an on-site tank. When the tank is full, the slurry is transferred to a wastewater treatment plant, where an anaerobic digester breaks down the waste and releases methane, which is used to generate energy.
Northgate began piloting the system in one store in March, Keith McCarron, Northgate’s director of distribution, told SN. The retailer has four more stores scheduled to install the sink grinders, with plans to eventually roll out the system to all stores.
One store uses six cases of avocados every day, which results in nearly 300 pits and skins that require disposal.
“Before Grind2Energy, we were spending hours each day composting our food scraps,” McCarron said in a press release. “Grind2Energy has given us a way to dispose of this waste in a clean, orderly way without spending a lot of time or taking up valuable space, like composting does. And even better, we’re able to turn food scraps into energy and into a positive for both Northgate and the environment.”
So far, Northgate’s food waste has generated enough energy to power 53 homes and heat 78 homes for a month, and generated 20,394 pounds of fertilizer.
A California law that went into effect in April requires all high-volume commercial operations, such as supermarkets, to divert food waste from landfills.
Watch a video of Northgate’s food waste disposal below: