August 26, 2021

Five Ways Food Digesters Improve Manufacturing Business Operations

Businesses are finding a growing demand from employees and customers for increased sustainability in operations and culture. The new generation of highly accountable, intelligent employees care deeply about social issues such as sustainability and the environment. This wave of environmentally aware employees are attracted to organizations with sustainable practices and missions. Customers are also increasingly concerned about the sustainability value of the businesses they patronize. While quality remains an important factor in their purchasing decisions, customers are now looking for products, brands, and businesses that align their own personal values.

Businesses are often hesitant to make the switch to more sustainable methods due to the belief that it is costlier. What many businesses fail to understand is that the initial costs of sustainability actually lead to long term savings and costs. In a recent LinkedIn Live with Bruce Carnohan, we discuss five ways on how using an onsite food waste digester improves business operations and affects the areas of: convenience, cost, compliance, cleanliness, and control.

Convenience

The traditional path for the disposal of food waste is complex with labor involved on multiple levels. Many manufacturing facilities have separate garbage bins for food waste, recycling, and trash. Facility staff have to transport the food waste on a daily basis to the correct bin and maintain it. Then, a contracted firm or agency must transport the food waste to a landfill where it then decomposes into methane.

Plant managers and facility managers must spend time, labor, and effort on waste management. By using an onsite solution for the disposal of food waste, factory management can better allocate their time and resources to solving daily issues and planning ahead.

Cost

The cost of transporting food waste to landfills has been growing every year. For some facilities, waste management is one of the highest expenses due to location. Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems, a global manufacturing and engineering company, has a remote manufacturing facility and campus in Acuña, Mexico. With full daily dining services offered to 1500 employees, the waste management costs are immense. By removing the middleman and using their own onsite food waste digester, manufacturing companies are able to save immensely on waste management solutions.

Compliance

In the last few years, global warming and climate change have become increasingly prominent issues in the political space. The effects of record high temperatures have increased awareness on global issues and as a result, many local jurisdictions are enforcing environmental laws that dictate the amount of food waste that goes into a landfill. As food waste breaks down, it releases methane which is a greenhouse gas that is 87 times more potent than carbon dioxide. This is extremely harmful in landfills where it cannot be easily separated from regular trash.

A growing trend has found that each state enforces its own environmental laws with varying costs and penalties. Food digesters are a simple, proven way for businesses to meet these green ordinances. In 2020, the customers using LFC biodigesters diverted 6300 tonne (14 million lb) of organic waste from the landfill.

Cleanliness

As food waste decomposes anaerobically (in the absence of oxygen), it produces methane and other smelly gasses. This presents an issue to manufacturing facilities where the food waste generated by kitchens is placed into a dumpster or compactor. Towards the end of the week, these bins have a significant amount of rotting food waste and the stench of decomposing food can seep through facilities.

The strong odors may attract unwanted guests such as insects and pests, and in turn deter customers and suppliers. A food waste digester is a simple, neat solution that takes care of the food waste. It digests the waste aerobically (in the presence of oxygen) thereby producing no smells and obviating the need to put organic waste in the trash.

Control

In a data driven world, analytics are critical in helping businesses achieve process improvement. Reports allow businesses to gain insight into their operations and put a quantifiable value on items previously thought to be unmeasurable. Analytics on food waste enables businesses to make decisions on how to optimize operations by identifying key waste areas and taking corrective action. This enables businesses to focus on waste optimization and lean management techniques.

Manufacturing facilities typically offer full kitchen services for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and third shift meals. From the type and amount of food waste generated, businesses can understand what dishes are most popular and least popular. The kitchen manager can make data-informed decisions on how much inventory to stock, what dishes to cook for the week, and how many servings to offer. A staggering 40% of food produced in the USA ends up in the landfill. If businesses can reduce that amount, it can make a large impact on the environment, waste management, labor, and costs.

Food waste plays a small, but significant role in daily operations of a manufacturing site and facility. Contrary to popular belief, there is no single waste disposal solution that fits all facilities. However, food waste digesters have the added benefit of fitting onsite into most kitchens and connecting directly to drainage systems for simple, easy waste management.

To learn if the LFC biodigester is the right waste management solution for your manufacturing facility, contact Power Knot today.

Power Knot