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BAY LAKE, FLA.—Harvest Power unveiled the Central Florida Energy Garden, an organics management and renewable energy facility that is the first of its kind in the United States, converting organic waste into renewable biogas and natural fertilizers. The anaerobic digester combines a unique set of proven technologies and will divert hundreds of thousands of tons of waste from Central Florida landfills. Located within the Reedy Creek Improvement District (RCID), the Energy Garden uses anaerobic digestion—a biological process that relies on trillions of naturally occurring bacteria—to produce renewable biogas. When operating at full capacity, the facility will process more than 120,000 tons of organic materials annually while producing 5.4 megawatts of combined heat and power. “We are immensely proud of the teamwork that transformed this technically sophisticated project from a vision to a reality,” said Alex MacFarlane, Vice President of Project Development. “As North American demand for recycling of organic waste grows, this anaerobic digestion facility is a revelation for what is possible.”
WASHINGTON, D.C.—The National Restaurant Assn. is calling on restaurant operators to participate in an online survey regarding how much unused food is donated, composted, or sent to landfills and other waste disposal facilities. The information gathered will be used to help develop new ways to reduce food waste in the industry.
ANN ARBOR, MICH.—Global public health organization NSF International has launched a new program that helps hotels, resorts and other hospitality settings prevent food and water contamination. The NSF International StaySafer program provides the hospitality industry with a credible means to demonstrate the safety of its food and water to travelers, agencies and hotel rating websites.
MCLEAN, VA.—Hilton Worldwide announced that it will cease serving shark fin and stop accepting new orders for shark fin dishes by April 1, 2014. The ban covers all restaurants and food and beverage (F&B) facilities operated by its 96 owned and managed properties across Asia Pacific. In December 2012, the company first removed shark fin from menus across all restaurants and F&B facilities operated by its managed properties in China and Southeast Asia, only serving it on request. This action helped pave the way for a ban, which first took effect in Southeast Asia on September 1, 2013 and then in Greater China on February 1, 2014. Banquet bookings made in each region prior to the respective ban dates will be honored accordingly. The final step of the ban takes effect in Japan on April 1, 2014, when shark fin dishes will no longer be served in restaurants and F&B facilities operated by Hilton Worldwide’s owned and managed properties. In Japan, no banquet orders for shark fin dishes have been accepted since December 1, 2013.
BRANDENBURG, KY.—If you are staying at the Southern Grace Bed & Breakfast in Brandenburg, Ky., and can’t finish your tasty breakfast, don’t even think about throwing your food scraps in the trash. The approximately 70 chickens—free range chickens—will be more than happy to eat what you cannot. According to Theresa Padgett, owner of the 15-acre B&B with her husband David, all food scraps are either fed to the chickens or composted. The plate-to-chicken approach to waste management is just one of the ways the B&B owners work to lighten their property’s impact on the planet. In the garden that the owners plant each year, a “lasagna” no dig, no till, layering method is used. Layers of cardboard or newspaper are alternated with layers of “live” material such as leaves or egg shells.
LAUCALA ISLAND, FIJI—Amidst dramatic rainforest-laced landscapes and coconut plantations, the Fijian private island resort Laucala Island sets the gold standard for the “farm-to-resorts” movement. The resort’s new Executive Chef, Anthony Healy, creates signature cuisine by foraging for the freshest ingredients across the island and taking advantage of the island’s plentiful indigenous produce and livestock. Organic produce is grown on a 240-acre hydroponic farm with 15 different types of fruit, 35 varieties of vegetables and more than 50 Fiji Vanilla plants. Additionally, 80 percent of the island’s seafood is caught within a mile of the shore to preserve the natural offshore habitat of the South Pacific, with fish ranging from rock cod and tuna to mahi-mahi, crayfish and coral trout. These combined efforts allow the resort to operate as 80 percent self-sustainable, while guests’ overall on-island experience is enhanced through cooking classes and explorations led by Chef Healy. “Here we maintain ‘paddock-to-plate’ like nowhere else in the world,” said Chef Healy.
CHESTNUT RIDGE, N.Y.—Rubicon Global, a leading provider of sustainable waste and recycling solutions, and BioHitech America, a leader in the development of food waste disposal technology, have teamed up to add BioHitech America’s (BHA) Eco-Safe Digester and BioHitech Cloud to Rubicon Global’s arsenal of green technological tools.
RIPON, WIS.—UniMac, a leading provider of on-premises laundry equipment, has expanded its product offering with the introduction of the UT200, a 200-pound tumble dryer. “The UT200 is just one example of UniMac’s commitment to increasing our customers’ satisfaction by offering a comprehensive range of equipment with innovative features that help on-premises laundries operate more cost-effectively,” said Bill Brooks, North American Sales Manager for UniMac.
CHESTNUT RIDGE, N.Y.—BioHitech America, a leading provider of organic waste solutions and the exclusive distributor of the Eco-Safe Digester, a food waste management solution, recently closed its second round of funding led by Penn Venture Partners LP, a venture capital fund located in Harrisburg, Pa.
NEW YORK—Vivreau announced that the company has become an official supporter of the Partnership for a Healthy America’s “Drink Up” initiative. Vivreau joins PHA’s Honorary Chair First Lady Michelle Obama and other celebrities in an effort to encourage people to drink more water more often.
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