Tomato farm diverts one ton of plant waste from landfills daily with biodigester

January 19, 2022

Midwest, US — A wholesale distributor was facing a looming problem — as their operations expanded, so did the amount of waste generated as byproducts. The wholesale distributor currently has five distribution centers, two fresh-cut processing facilities, and a division with a trucking firm. With any distribution and wholesale center, organic waste is a normal byproduct of operations and processing facilities.

In June 2021, they installed an LFC-1000 biodigester with a built-in bin tipper. On typical work days, the machine digests on average 950 kg (2100 lb) of plant waste per month.

A Growing Problem

The wholesale distributor was facing a looming problem — as their operations expanded, so did the amount of waste generated as byproducts. The wholesale distributor currently has five distribution centers, two fresh-cut processing facilities, and a division with a trucking firm. With any distribution and wholesale center, organic waste is a normal byproduct of operations and processing facilities. 

Organic waste is also typically caused by damage from transportation, contamination, improper handling, or storage. The fees for handling, storing, and transporting thousands of pounds of organic waste to composting centers was starting to become onerous so the wholesale distributor began looking for a modern solution that was sustainable, economical, and would prove to be long lasting. In 2021, the wholesale distributor installed an LFC-1000 biodigester which has a nominal capacity of 1000 kg (2200 lb).

Constant Digestion of Plant Waste

In the first month after installation, the average amount of organic waste digested by the LFC-1000 biodigester was 1066 kg (2350 lb) each working day. On an exceptional day, the biodigester processed 3390 kg (7475 lb) of waste:

As a 100% employee owned company, the wholesale farm cares about their employees’ well being and health.The built-in bin tipper on the LFC-1000 biodigester makes it easy to handle high volumes of organic waste and move them into the biodigester. It reduces physical labor, and prevents employees from injuries and over straining themselves.

Operation of the bin tipper is through the use of an NFC card. This causes the door to open automatically, the bin to be lifted, to drop the waste into the machine, wash the bin, and lower the bin to the ground. The average load per bin is 29 kg (64 lb) thereby saving significant risk of injury.

New: NFC Card Capability

As a part of the new LFC-VII system, the LFC-1000 biodigester comes with a built-in NFC Card Reader. The food distributor uses different NFC cards to track the type of waste (for example, tomatoes or lettuce). The clear insight into the type of waste allows operators to identify key areas for waste optimization and make data-informed decisions. At the moment, the wholesale operator is utilizing 10 additional NFC Cards to track types of waste in various categories. All data is connected to the LFC Cloud, Power Knot’s continuous data analytics which can track the amount of waste, type of waste, and create easy to read reports for stakeholders.

Industry: Distribution and Wholesale

Location: United States