The U.S. is the global leader in food waste, discarding nearly 40 million tons of food every year according to the EPA.
That’s 8 billion pounds of food, more than $160 billion or roughly 220 pounds of food waste per person within the country.
While these numbers are staggering, inroads are being made within food waste recycling programs across the U.S. As Arnold Bowers, business solutions director at ENGIE Impact explained, there are several emerging technologies in the marketplace today that are impacting how we engage with and tackle food waste, and anaerobic digestion is one tactic that has proven to be successful in certain settings,
“ENGIE Impact provides comprehensive consulting to both waste haulers and property owners to first audit waste streams in their current state and then deliver solutions that provide options like digesters to reduce both landfill tonnage and their overall carbon footprint,” Bowers said. In 2018, ENGIE Impact recommended “on-site” aerobic digesters for certain property management clients in New York City who operated large venues with food court-style restaurants.
Dan Meccariello, operations manager, Generate, said in the U.S. we are losing approximately 40 percent of our food to landfills, and the loss of restaurant demand made some of that food waste even worse. Generate is one of the largest owners of anaerobic digesters in North America and the company upcycles millions of tons of food waste annually into biogas that powers communities, and biomass that can be reused as natural fertilizer.