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November 30, 2016
With laws changing throughout the country to divert food waste from landfills, generators are looking for solutions to manage food waste onsite efficiently. Some food-based industries are turning to real-time management through the use of portable digesters with cloud capabilities.
San Jose, Calif.-based Power Knot LLC is another example of a technology provider that produces an onsite digester. Power Knot offers eight models that process from 20 lbs. to 4,000 lbs. of food waste per day.
“The LFC sits in the kitchen and reduces the expense, inconvenience, mess and carbon footprint of disposing of waste food that would otherwise be hauled to a landfill,” says Iain Milnes, president of Power Knot. “With models that service the smallest to the largest food service company and with global presence, we are able to assist customers with different amounts of waste wherever they are located.”
The LFC collects data regarding the amount of waste ingested and digested by the minute, hour, day, week, month and year. It includes operational parameters and statistics about the operation of the LFC. All data and alerts are sent in real time.
“Users can access the data using any device that has a web browser," Milnes says. "This means users can use any mobile phone, any tablet or any PC from anywhere in the world without installing software."
Data is accessible from the touch screen on the LFC. This includes the status and settings of the LFC, all statistics about usage and waste digested and all diagnostics. Statistics and alerts can be programmed to be sent by e-mail without having to log into the LFC Cloud to access this information. Alerts are sent in real time so problems can be quickly resolved.
Power Knot’s LFC is used in hotels and resorts, by the U.S. military, at sports stadiums and entertainment venues, in restaurants, healthcare and seniors care facilities, supermarkets, shopping malls, delis and universities.
Alex Paz, executive chef at the JW Marriott Miami in Miami, Fla., uses Power Knot’s LFC digester because of its service and design.
“We use the Power Knot to help reduce our costs in regards to food waste that is being discarded in the dumpster as well as labor,” he says. “We have made our operation more organized and streamlined in regards to operational productivity. Stewards and cooks are spending less time outside dumping trash more time in production.”
Milnes says the Power Knot technology helps users understand how much food waste they produce.
“It is not possible to manage what you can’t measure. Therefore, to be able to manage their waste, our customers need to know how much they are wasting and when,” he says. “The LFC provides them with this information, both on the color touch screen and also on the LFC Cloud.”
Power Knot is working to reduce the size of the LFC to accommodate smaller areas.
“Many kitchens are constrained and don’t have the space for an LFC. We are working with several architects to design an LFC into the floor plan. The LFC is as necessary to a kitchen as the stove and dishwasher,” says Milnes.
Paz says the hotel has not experienced any major challenges with the digester.
“We were real lucky, we experienced no real challenges. We needed to get used to the system, we needed to learn how to properly use the machine and we had some challenges with the tubing,” he says.
According to Paz, the digester has helped his hotel become a more responsible property.
“As in any change to any business there will always be the people that will accept the change. This is a system that really makes a great difference not only to your business costs, but to your impact on the environment,” he says. “Make sure you employees are aware of their role in not only helping the company succeed, but in making the planet a better place.”
Freelance writer, Waste360
Megan Greenwalt is a freelance writer based in Youngstown, Ohio, covering collection & transfer and technology for Waste360. She also is the marketing and communications advisor for a property preservation company in Valley View, Ohio, and a member of the Public Relations Society of America. Prior to her current roles, Greenwalt served as the associate editor of Waste & Recycling News for three years and as features editor for a local newspaper in Warren, Ohio, for more than five years. Greenwalt is a 2002 graduate of The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism.
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