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Sendik’s Food Markets has eliminated 4.7 million car miles worth of greenhouse gas emissions annually by in installing InSinkErator’s Grind2Energy systems in its 12 Milwaukee-area stores.
The system grinds food waste from the stores and holds it in tanks at each location until it is trucked to an anaerobic digester facility to be converted into biogas and fertilizer, according to the company.
Before installing the systems this month, Sendik’s stores had composted their food waste. The pilot store in Mequon, which installed the system in November, now requires one 30-yard trash compactor truck per month to handle the waste, down from eight trucks before the installation.
So far this year, 332 tons of food scraps have been converted into renewable energy, according to Nick Balistreri, Sendik’s co-owner, and all edible food is donated to the eastern Wisconsin branch of Feeding America.
“This program is popular with the associates at our stores and blends seamlessly into our operations,” Balistreri said. “It’s really a win-win for everyone concerned.”
U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsak recently announced a goal to reduce U.S. food waste by 50 percent by 2030. Currently, the United States wastes 133 billion pounds of food annually, nearly one-third of the overall food supply, according to USDA estimates.