Home Publisher's Point of View After Five Years: Another Look at Food Waste Decomposition Machines

After Five Years: Another Look at Food Waste Decomposition Machines


Do your homework. That is my recommendation before purchasing, leasing or renting a food waste decomposition machine. I just posted an article on the machines after chatting with representatives of seven system suppliers. Several other vendors are also mentioned in my article.

I first wrote about food waste decomposition machines five years ago. Since then a number of new suppliers have entered the market, some have disappeared, while several others have done quite well. There is no doubt the systems have become a highly effective and accepted way of either reducing huge volumes of food waste down to grey water for the drain or a compost mix for outdoor use.

The two types of machines available (one producing grey water and one a dry compost) can have a huge upside—reduced waste hauling and labor costs, more efficient kitchen operations, a general reduction in environmental footprint associated with landfill impacts and truck pickups and deliveries, a cleaner work area, improved safety, and a reduction in waste-related odors, pests and vermin.

Ask for Third Party Proof

If you choose a machine that reduces food waste down to water, be sure your vendor provides independent lab results to substantiate what is coming out of the machine meets BOD (Biochemical Oxygen Demand), FOG (Fats, Oils, Grease), and TSS (Total Suspended Solids) standards. If you choose a machine that produces a dry product, be sure that product is truly a mature compost before adding it to your grounds.

As wondrous as decomposition machines are, what they really are is a stomach of sorts. They are not decontamination devices. What goes in unsafe—mercury from fish, for example—pretty much comes out unsafe. Most of the time what is put into a machine is not an issue of course but it is something that needs to be understood.

If you prefer not to purchase a machine, most suppliers now offer lease or rent options. Warranty length varies per company and so do the bells and whistles that come with the systems. One supplier, for example, offers a built-in scale and a sophisticated communication system that allows one to monitor machines remotely.

Consider Total Cost of Operation

Recipes—what is added to accelerate composting—vary per supplier. So does how much water (if any) or energy is consumed in the process. Be sure to understand the total cost of operation of the machine. Over time that may very well surpass the upfront capital cost. Be sure to ask for references, number of installations, etc.

For the most part I am very impressed at what food waste decomposition machines can do to dramatically reduce the volume of food waste going to the landfill. I know many of you are already using these types of systems. I would love to know how they are working for you. I can be reached at editor@greenlodgingnews.com, or by phone at (216) 848-1406.

GLN Adds Totally Green as Directory Partner

Green Lodging News welcomes Totally Green as a Green Product & Service Directory partner. With Totally Green’s ORCA on-site waste digestion equipment, customers are able to dispose of organics at the source, eliminating the need to truck the waste to landfills or remote composting facilities. The ORCA significantly accelerates the breakdown of food waste by adding a proprietary solution and bio chips to the digestion process. The company’s digestion process is able to convert more than one ton of organic waste into environmentally safe water within a 24-hour period. Call Emma Liut at (855) 355-6722 for more information. You may also e-mail eliut@totallygreen.com or go to www.totallygreen.com.

Industry Pioneer Seeks Buyer/Developer for Concordia Eco-Resort

Stanley Selengut, owner of the Concordia Eco-Resort, St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands, contacted me this past week to let me know that he is seeking a buyer and developer for his Concordia Eco-Resort in St. John, Virgin Islands. The resort has 42 units, including 25 Eco-Tents with the remainder being studio apartments. The resort is set on 20 acres and borders a national park. The profitable enterprise includes additional acreage around the resort. If you are interested in learning more about this opportunity, contact Stanley at (561) 893-0885, or by e-mail at stansel@hamptons.com.

Who is Your Sustainability Champion?

Green Lodging News is always looking to profile sustainability champions in our Personnel Profile section. If you would like to nominate someone for this section of Green Lodging News, contact me at (216) 848-1406, or by e-mail at editor@greenlodgingnews.com.

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As always, I can be reached at editor@greenlodgingnews.com.