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Supermarket Chain Converts Food Waste to Energy

Supermarket Chain Converts Food Waste to Energy

Image source: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnfull/20130515/LA14956

We have a staggering amount of food waste in our modern world, and while we can all do our part to reduce that on our end, there is still quite a bit of waste in the food system at the distribution level. But one supermarket company is taking steps to close that loop a little bit, by turning their food waste into biogas to provide clean energy for its distribution center.

Kroger is now using an anaerobic conversion system at its 650,000 square foot Ralphs/Food4Less Compton (California) distribution complex to convert unsold food into renewable energy, which will also greatly reduce the amount of truck miles used in the area (it’s estimated that 500,000 annual diesel truck miles will be eliminated with the system).

The new Kroger Recovery System, which is designed and operated by FEED Resource Recovery Inc., is estimated to be able to process more than 50,000 tons of food waste each year (300,000+ pounds every day). The waste is converted into biogas, which is then used for onsite power generation, offsetting about 20% of the energy demand for the distribution center. According to the LA Times, the system will generate about 13 million kilowatt-hours per year.

While this solution doesn’t actually reduce food waste, but rather converts it back into energy, if every food distribution center could offset their energy use through a system such as this, it could go a long way toward greening their company’s operations.

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