Food Waste Producers: Lower Costs, Help the Environment

Ag-Grid Energy is working with food waste producers to lower their disposal costs while also helping the environment. By agreeing to have their food waste diverted to anaerobic digestion — as opposed to dumping it in landfills or incinerating it — the food waste producers contribute to a cleaner, more sustainable environment.

Ag-Grid’s partners collect food waste at the producer’s site and transport it to a local farm where it is recycled and converted to renewable energy. They charge less for that service than the producers must pay to dispose of their waste at a landfill. They also relieve producers from the responsibility to manage waste collection and transportation.

A dozen of 50 states have passed laws to keep food waste out of landfills, where it rots and releases methane, the most potent greenhouse gas. Without better management, food waste will remain the second largest category of municipal solid waste sent to landfills in the U.S.

With the rise of anaerobic digestion as a green management option, the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that in 2019, over 42% of waste generated in the food and beverage manufacturing and processing sectors was diverted from landfills and used to generate renewable energy. Food retail and service operations, such as supermarkets and restaurants, sent less than 1% of their waste to an anaerobic digester.

Among the many reasons producers of food waste partner with Ag-Grid Energy:

  • concern about the negative environmental impact of food waste in landfills
  • cost of landfill disposal in their state
  • compliance with their state’s ban on food waste in landfills
  • cost of transporting food waste to landfills in states that don’t have a ban
  • opportunity to contribute to green initiatives including clean energy and organic fertilizer