InSinkErator is the United Kingdom’s largest manufacturer of food waste disposals. In general, waste disposals help to reduce landfill waste by 20%, and the company aims to further improve this statistic. Recently, InSinkEerator has launched a new initiative called Grind2Energy, an organic recycling system that uses food waste to generate energy.
According to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, 14 million tonnes of waste was sent to landfills in 2012/2013. Only 13% of that waste was recovered as energy. While this marks as significant increase, doubling over the course of a decade, there is still more that can be done to reduce the amount of waste that is being transported to landfills. The UK government wants to move towards a ‘zero waste economy’, and InSinkErator’s Grind2Energy could help us achieve this goal.
The waste that is placed in the Grind2Energy disposal is ground up quickly and efficiently. The shredder users dry-grind technology, which cuts down on the amount of water that is used. Then, rather than being sent down the drain, it is stored in a tank. The tank is sealed and enclosed, which helps eliminate odours and pest infestations. When the tank is full, a sensor will notify the Grind2Energy team for pickup.
Usually, the waste would be transported to a landfill, where it would decompose and emit methane. This greenhouse gas contributes to global warming, and is harmful to the environment.
Grind2Energy skips this step. Instead of sending the food waste of a landfill,m the waste is transported to an anaerobic digestion facility. Here, the methane gas produced by the waste is captured as biogas. Then, it can be used as electricity and CNG (compressed natural gas). This benefits the environment by providing an additional renewable source of energy while helping to reduce methane emissions.
“By rethinking the way we dispose of something as simple as an orange peel, Insinkerator engineers are helping to turn food waste into energy in communities around the globe,” Grind2Energy states. “It’s a big idea, and it all starts in your kitchen”.
Grind2Energy is being rolled out in restaurants across America. We hope to see this technology being used throughout the United Kingdom in coming years.