When it comes to recycling, most people at least know how to dispose of things like plastic and aluminum. Food waste however, is another story.
It’s not that old food items can’t be used in other ways. It’s just much more difficult for recycling companies to sort through food waste when it’s usually combined with other things like paper plates and plastic spoons.
That’s where Harvest Power comes in. The company is able to turn food waste into energy. And it doesn’t need the food to be already sorted or “clean.”
Harvest Power’s anaerobic digesters can process large amounts of food waste mixed with things like oils and treated sewage.
That waste is then converted into usable energy. Currently, Harvest Power has a facility located at Walt Disney World in Florida. That facility processes the uneaten food waste at the parks and resorts and then sells it back to Disney as energy.
After processing the waste in digesters for just under a month, the company has produced enough energy to power 3,000 homes for a year.
While it’s certainly a huge process for Harvest Power to collect, process and convert all of that waste into energy, the concept makes a lot of sense. And it demonstrates the potential that we have to reduce waste while also creating something that people really need.
Food waste is abundant. It only makes sense to use that waste in some way. And since the entire energy industry is in a state of flux, as companies work to develop sustainable methods like solar and wind rather than using up non-renewable resources, this seems like a solution that works on both ends.
Harvest Power’s CEO Kathleen Ligocki told Fortune:
“It’s the most secure stream there is. If you’re near a population, you can pretty much guarantee it. And there’s no competition.”
The company is still growing. So it still has just a handful of facilities around the country. But if the concept catches on and the company is able to continue its growth, they could very well help to solve two huge environmental problems, while also earning huge profits.