Right now most food waste from large restaurants, grocery stores and produce distributors goes to landfill. And that’s because there’s no other option.
But all that will change in Maryland starting in January of 2023. In compliance with a new state law, producers of large amounts of food waste will be required to redirect it. They can donate servable food, send the waste to farms for use as animal feed or transport it to organic recycling centers.
The goal is to create a sustainable composting solution for the state. But currently not many facilities can handle the volume most large businesses create.
An international company, Bioenergy Devco, hopes to be part of the solution when it swings into operation at the end of this year. Located in Jessup at Maryland’s Food Center Authority Campus, the new facility will be Maryland’s largest anaerobic digester complex. When it’s up and running it will process 125 tons of organic waste a year.
Shawn Kreloff, CEO, compared the facility to “a cow’s stomach.” Two large cylinders grind the waste to a “slurry” and the end product can be used to fuel cars or be converted to provide electricity and heat.
According to Governor Hogan’s office, Maryland produces nearly 100 million tons of food waste every year. The state invested $460 thousand dollars in the project which will employ 50 workers.