TORONTO, CA — Belmont House, a charitable and non-profit Christian home for seniors, stands as a beacon of long-term care and retirement living, harmonizing compassion for the elderly with a commitment to environmental responsibility. Nestled on 3½ acres in the suburbs of Toronto, Canada, Belmont House offers a range of LTC and retirement apartments. With a focus on providing excellent service and care for its residents, Belmont House has undertaken a transformative initiative to address food waste management through the adoption of Power Knot’s LFC biodigester.
Addressing the Food Waste Challenge
The decision to explore solutions that are sustainable for the reduction of food waste emerged from a student project that delved into various methods. The LFC biodigester, an aerobic digester, emerged as a promising on-site solution. This machine utilizes microorganisms to break down organic matter into water, with the resulting grey water repurposed for irrigation or safely discharged into the sewage system. Recognizing the environmental impact of traditional waste disposal methods, Belmont House embraced the biodigester as a sustainable alternative.
Streamlining Operations and Enhancing Sustainability
Belmont House, catering to nearly 150 residents with three meals and snacks daily, inevitably generates a substantial amount of food waste. Prior to adopting the LFC biodigester, the facility adhered to city ordinances, requiring food waste to be placed in plastic bags and green bins.
Food waste would then be collected and sent to a transfer station where it underwent further processing at an organic waste processing facility, then sent to either composting facilities or an anaerobic digester.
Recognizing the inefficiencies and environmental concerns of this approach, Trudie Phillips, Director of Support Services at Belmont House, expressed the need for change.
“It just didn’t make sense to put food waste into plastic bags,” said Trudie Phillips, Director of Support Services at Belmont House. “Food waste is heavy, and plastic shouldn’t go into the green bins.”
The LFC-100 biodigester, strategically located in a centralized area, streamlined the process of managing food waste. All food waste is collected in designated pails and fed into the machine, eliminating the need for plastic bags. The staff now transports food waste into the biodigester as it is generated, minimizing manual labor and reducing the burden on traditional waste disposal methods.
“Overall, the LFC biodigester is a great concept,” said Trudie. “The biodigester at Belmont House is in a centralized area. Anything from cereal to salad goes into pails and into the machine.”
Impact and Future Sustainability Goals
The impact of the LFC-100 biodigester at Belmont House is significant. In 2022 alone, the biodigester processed an average of 2137 kg of food waste per month, diverting a substantial amount from landfills.
“The next step for sustainability is tracking the waste and understanding the data,” Trudie Philips stated.
The biodigester’s integration with Power Knot’s continuous data program, the LFC Cloud, ensures transparent monitoring of waste digestion. Certified by the National Type Evaluation Program (NTEP), the LFC Cloud calculates the weight of waste ingested and from there it calculates the CO2e emissions diverted from the atmosphere. This quantifies the environmental impact of diverting food waste from landfills.
By implementing the LFC biodigester, Belmont House has not only improved operational efficiency but has also taken a significant step towards reducing its ecological footprint. As the facility continues to evolve, tracking and leveraging data through the LFC Cloud will propel Belmont House towards even greater heights of sustainable and responsible caregiving.