Asian grocery chain T&T Supermarkets Inc. is expanding its pilot project of operating an on-site food digester system to treat organic waste generated by one of its supermarkets. Previously, the supermarket relied on daily disposal to landfill, which the company described as a “very costly solution,” in part due to the high frequency of service required and associated landfill costs.
The project – the installation of Micron Waste Technologies’ Micron Organic Waste Digester – was successfully completed, proving the ease of use, efficiency and cost saving potential in a real-life setting, the companies say. Now, T&T Supermarkets and Micron will work together to explore additional locations for installing and operating the digester. Commercial terms for the Micron Organic Waste Digester will include a monthly lease, charge for quantity of waste handled and servicing fees.
Currently, food waste that remains undigested is discharged into gray water, requiring treatment. Current commercial food waste digesters have a waste digestion efficiency of 60% to 65%, which means that as much as 40% of food waste remains undigested, Micron says. Micron has developed a patent-pending technology to manage food waste on-site, converting it into clean water. The company says its digester has micro-oxygen cubicles technology that leads to aerobic digestion up to 95%. The remaining 5% of undigested food particles are further treated, resulting in clean water.
A single type of microorganism can’t digest all types of food wastes, Micron points out. The company’s in-house R&D team works closely with customers to prepare unique blends of microorganisms and enzymes for different types of food wastes such as mixed produce, meats, citrus peels, bakery dough, tobacco leaves, coffee grinds, high fat content, mixed grocery at supermarkets and so on. The clean water generated in this process can be recycled or reused.
T&T Supermarkets, the largest chain of specialist Asian supermarkets in Canada, was pleased with the digester’s ability to turn organic waste on-site into an environmentally friendly liquid form, giving the company a strong case for rolling out additional units in the future.
With the success of the pilot, Micron plans to accelerate discussions with multiple supermarket chains. The company is also planning to expand into other sectors looking to improve the operational and cost efficiencies of their organic matter disposal. These include the cannabis and quick-serve food markets.
Getting It Done: Vendors in this article include:
- Micron Waste Technologies