Sisters of St. Joseph of CarondeletOctober 17, 2017

Earth Concerns News

Food Recycling Decreases Emission of Deadly Gases by Janet Derby, CSJA


Currently, only about three percent of all food waste is recycled even though it is the third largest component by weight in landfills (about 40 percent). Is this difficult to imagine? Not really, when one realizes that the average person produces nearly 475 pounds of food waste annually, adding up to a whopping 70+ million tons! Food-Recycle Science reduces food-waste volume up to 93 percent.

Therefore, let's save the space in landfills! Right? Oh, wait a minute! That's not all! The methane gas, generated from food waste, is 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide! The reason is that carbon dioxide is contained in sugar, protein, starch and cellulose, all components of food waste. Decomposition of these substances causes the release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. What does that do to our environment? High levels of carbon dioxide increase the greenhouse effect, causing extreme weather changes, the loss of ecosystems and potentially harmful health effects in individuals. Now, how about that for a reason to recycle food waste?
 
Food recyclers for organic waste (includes kitchen and dining-room scraps and bones as well as a percentage of uncoated paper/cardboard) are called Food Cyclers. By the press of a button, agitators break down food waste into small particles, heating it to 180 degrees Fahrenheit. The mixture is decomposed and deodorized. Bacteria are killed, and seeds are sterilized; potable water is a by-product. The potable water can be reclaimed for use in gardens, landscaping and cooling, and it can be mixed with existing potable or non-potable supplies to reduce the amount of water used from the main lines. One entire recycling sequence takes less than 24 hours.
 
The resulting residue may be used as a compost accelerant, bio-fuel, animal feed or pet food. In addition, manufacturers claim that there is neither odor nor the emission of harmful gases. Food Cyclers use minimal energy and are designed to be space saving. There are many models, depending upon what services are needed. The capacity may range from 125 pounds to as much as 3,000 pounds. Food-Cycler companies publicize loudly that the units are easily installed and do not require the use of fresh water, enzymes or special venting. They range in cost from $3,000 to $14,000.
 
Companies that advertise Food Cylers are Somat (Illinois and Lancaster, PA); BioHitech Amercia in Action, Inc. (Newark, NJ); Green Key Environmental Solutions (Florida); and Waste to Water Environmental, LLC (Brooklyn, NY). Each of these companies has websites from which the information presented in this article was obtained. Also, there is a no-food-waste website to visit at www.nofoodwaste.com.
 
Perhaps, we should give serious consideration to food recycling as a way to help lower the harmful effects of carbon-dioxide emissions in our environment, to replenish nutrients in the Earth and to decrease the need for more landfills. Is this not an example of another means to be in communion with the Earth and our Dear Neighbor?