Industrial/Organic, a new startup in New York, is currently working on a process that transforms food waste into a fertilizer that is almost odorless. The clean, indoor process produces biomass pellets, which can be used as both clean and reusable fertilizer and wastewater.
The startup has taken this process to the next level, allowing food waste to be processed in a week compared to a three-month process at a composting facility.
Currently, Industrial/Organic is testing its process in Red Hook, Brooklyn, and it has hopes to eventually do this process within New York City limits.
CO.EXIST highlights this process in more detail:
In 16 years, if all goes as planned, New York City will no longer send any trash to landfills. That includes the million-plus tons of food waste the city generates every year. But, like other cities that are trying to recycle organic waste, New York faces a challenge: there aren't yet enough places to take it.
The biggest composting facility on the East Coast was closed in 2014 because it smelled so foul, a problem compounded by the length of time it took the food to break down. Composting might work well if everyone had a backyard. But it turns out that it's a tricky thing to scale up, especially for the amount of food thrown out in a large city.
Biogas made from food waste that can be burned for electricity is another option, but it creates pollution. Instead, a new startup, Industrial/Organic, is attempting to develop a clean, indoor process that can turn food waste into near-odorless fertilizer and can be done within city limits.