'Multi-Story Stomach' Solves Supermarkets' Spoiled Food Problem

A first of its kind waste-to-energy plant in Los Angeles produces enough energy to power 2,000 homes per year by processing 150 tons of spoiled supermarket food per day. Could this model help other grocers reduce their environmental footprint?

"What happens to the 40% of food produced but never eaten in the U.S. each year, the mounds of perfect fruit passed over by grocery store shoppers, the tons of meat and milk left to expire?" asks Tiffany Hsu. "At Ralphs, one of the oldest and largest supermarket chains on the West Coast, it helps keep the power on."

"In a sprawling Compton distribution center that the company shares with its fellow Kroger Co. subsidiary Food 4 Less, organic matter otherwise destined for a landfill is rerouted instead into the facility's energy grid," she explains. "Though many grocery stores have tried to cut down on food waste and experiment with alternative energy, Kroger says it's the first supermarket company in the country to do both simultaneously."

"The technology that helps transform moldy chicken and stale bread into clean electricity is known as an anaerobic digester system."

Full Story: A powerful use for spoiled food

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