Go Green: Lean, mean, decomposing machine - KMOV.com

Go Green: Lean, mean, decomposing machine

(KMOV) – A new technology is on the market that keeps food waste out of landfills by turning it into water. Butler’s pantry in St. Louis is one of the first in the Midwest to adopt the new trend.

“We're hoping to reduce our footprint…on the landfills and such,” says Greg Ziegenfuss, executive chef at Butler’s Pantry in south St. Louis. “But we're also hoping to save money in doing that.”

They will save by cutting their trash-hauling costs. The machine composts up to 800 pounds of food waster per day. It’s expensive, but should pay for itself in a just a few years.

Here’s how it works. The food waste and disposable dishware get dumped into a machine, and microorganisms breakdown the organic waste into water that runs into the sewer. There is a misting of water and churning for part of every hour, but the majority of the time, the machine just sits, not using any electricity, allowing the microorganisms to go to work.

“Imagine at 9 a.m., your machine, the Orca Green, is filled to capacity, and then by 9 a.m. the next morning if you added absolutely nothing else, it would be empty,” says Jack Croghan of Green Smart Food Services.

The microorganisms last for one year, and they live in black chips, or biochips, once the food waste has been composted.
The Orca Green has made its mark at Butler’s Pantry. Chef Ziegenfuss has even started to experiment with the Orca’s byproduct in his herb garden.

“I'm hoping to see some positive results,” he says. “It's very nutrient rich, evidently, so we think that it'll produce bigger, better basil.”

Have an idea for the “Go Green” segment? Email Kristen Cornett at kcornett@kmov.com


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