Canadian Department of National Defense Targets Food Waste Reduction Initiative with Biodigesters

2022-01-12

CANADA — The Canadian government has a strong mandate to reduce carbon emissions and is pushing changes through all governmental agencies. Sending organic waste to a landfill is recognized globally as having a huge negative impact on the environment, as well as causing adverse effects on the economy.

After an extensive evaluation of all alternatives, the Canadian DND settled on Power Knot’s LFC biodigesters to help combat food waste and climate change. With deployment across military bases throughout Canada, the DND now has purchased six different sizes of LFC biodigesters and the SBT bin tipper with installations across the various bases.

The Department of National Defence (Le ministère de la Défense nationale, DND) is the civilian organization department of the Government of Canada which supports the Canadian Armed Forces who serve on the sea, on land, and in the air with the Navy, Army, Air Force, and Special Forces to defend Canadians’ interests at home and abroad.

The Department of National Defence has its headquarters in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada and emplys over 24,000 employees. The Canadian Forces operates out of 27 base sites with 42,000 employees which consist of 23,000 active personnel and 19,000 reserve personnel (of which 5,300 are Canadian Rangers). The base site facilities provided three meals daily to its residents.

The Canadian government has a strong mandate to reduce carbon emissions and is pushing changes through all governmental agencies. Sending organic waste to a landfill is recognized globally as having a huge negative impact on the environment, as well as causing adverse effects on the economy. After an extensive evaluation of all alternatives, the Canadian DND settled on Power Knot’s LFC biodigesters to help combat food waste and climate change. With deployment across military bases throughout Canada, the DND now has purchased six different sizes of LFC biodigesters and the SBT bin tipper with installations across the various bases.

Launching a Country Wide Initiative

In alignment with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal, Canada committed to reducing food waste in half by 2030. Like most countries, Canada is struggling to meet that target. Toronto households generate more than 99,000 tonne of food waste annually. The Government of Canada has strengthened policies, requirements, and guidelines that promote sustainable procurement practices. 

The Government of Canada launched the $20-million Food Waste Reduction Challenge in November 2020, calling for innovators to deliver game-changing solutions to this long-standing and complex situation. Meanwhile, the private and public sectors have joined forces to better understand and combat the issues. 

Common issues that contributed to food waste were:

  • Lengthy procedures for the approval for facilities to manage food waste
  • Challenges and questions around the end product (digestate) from anaerobic digestion (AD) facilities
  • Inadequate infrastructure to support AD
  • Low disposal costs compared to diversion costs
  • Lack of knowledge and awareness of waste management services and options

Leading by Example

From their findings, the Government of Canada sought to address these issues:

  1. Develop landfill and infrastructure to properly treat methane
  2. Explore new alternatives and technology that would support waste management 

A new technology they sought to test was aerobic biodigesters. The use of an onsite biodigester would help convert the food waste into water that could be safely disposed of into the sewage system. In 2020, The Department of National Defence purchased and installed an LFC biodigester to test on one of their sites. Due to the ease, success, and simplicity in operations, they increased their orders in 2021. They doubled the amount of biodigester orders in 2022.

The ongoing orders from the Department of National Defence has led to installations across more than a dozen military bases. The LFC biodigester has improved operations and upheld cleanliness standards for the Canadian military. The Government of Canada has implemented the LFC biodigesters in their own facilities due to reliability and easy tracking of carbon offset from Power Knot’s cloud based continuous data system, the LFC Cloud. 

Through the LFC Cloud, the government is able to monitor how much waste each machine is digesting and the amount of carbon dioxide diverted from the atmosphere. The Department of National Defence’s commitment to the environment shows in how they lead by example.

About The Department of National Defence

The Department of National Defence is the civilian organization department of the Government of Canada which supports the Canadian Armed Forces who serve on the sea, on land, and in the air with the Navy, Army, Air Force and Special Forces to defend Canadians’ interests at home and abroad.

Industry: Government

Location: Canada