More than 70 billion pounds of food waste ends up in landfills each year, producing methane, a potent greenhouse gas, as it decomposes. If your organization produces a high volume of food waste, finding sustainable solutions for this waste should be a top priority. Not only will strategic disposal of food waste reduce your carbon footprint, but it will also directly impact your bottom line.

Beyond environmental and financial benefits, switching to eco-friendly food waste disposal systems can help you attract new business from a growing marketplace of conscious consumers. Using an aerobic digester is the most effective, efficient, and sustainable form of food waste management. But what do aerobic digesters do, how can you get one installed on your property, and how can they help you meet your organization’s sustainability goals? 

How Does an Aerobic Digester Work?

Aerobic digestion is the process of breaking down organic waste within an environment containing oxygen. Oxygen helps food waste and other organic materials decompose faster than the anaerobic digestion of food waste that takes place in landfills, which can take many years. The difference between aerobic and anaerobic digestion is that anaerobic means little to no access to oxygen, which causes the food waste to produce methane gas, which is 84 times more potent than carbon dioxide.

While aerobic digestion can technically take place in any environment containing oxygen, aerobic digesters facilitate this process more efficiently and with less environmental impact. Aerobic digesters are machines that rely on a special blend of microorganisms that break down food waste and convert it to grey water, which is safe to flush out through your sewage drain. The machine produces no solid waste, which is why this technology is so revolutionary.

A solution containing microorganisms and enzymes is added into the main chamber, along with a medium to house them. From there, all you need to do is put in your food waste and let the microorganisms go to work. Aerobic digesters can digest 95% of food waste within 24 hours, contrary to traditional composting, which takes between 2 weeks and 2 years, depending on the method used.

How To Get An Aerobic Digestor Installed on Your Property

Getting an aerobic digestor installed on your property is a very straightforward process. Typically, aerobic digestors are installed in the kitchen facilities of organizations since that’s the primary source of food waste. This is the most convenient option since you won’t have to add the extra step of moving food waste to another location. But as long as you have firm, level ground with access to water, electricity, and sewer drainage, then you can have it installed wherever is most appropriate for your business. It’s recommended that an aerobic digester is plumbed out through a grease trap – which is typically present in commercial kitchens anyway. But if not, technicians can help you find a way to get rid of the outputs through a sewer drain.

What Types of Food Waste Can You Put in an Aerobic Digestor?

In the same way that humans and animals can only digest certain organic compounds, the microorganisms in aerobic digestors have a few food items they are unable to process. As a general rule, anything that we can process through the human stomach can go into the aerobic digestor. This includes foods like pasta, meat, fruits and vegetables, bread, pasta, cheese, and nuts. Foods the aerobic digestor cannot process include egg shells, the stones of fruits, nut shells, and coffee grounds.

Who Can Benefit Most from Aerobic Digestors?

Any organization or business that consistently produces 50 pounds or more of food waste each day can benefit from using an aerobic digestor. The systems have the capacity to house and process up to 617 lbs of food waste every single day. So whether you’re a mid-size nursing home or a large food production facility, you can make use of aerobic digesting to handle your food waste. Organizations that can benefit most from using aerobic digestors include grocery stores, educational facilities, hotels, hospitals, farms, and resorts. They are especially effective for offshore workplaces or any organization that requires food waste processing in remote locations.

Food Waste Management with Aerobic Digestors

Taking advantage of an aerobic digestor as part of food waste management will enable your organization to efficiently and sustainably process your food waste onsite while substantially minimizing your environmental impacts. Find out more about aerobic digestors and which unit best suits your organization’s needs.