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Kroger’s food waste used to create energy

The innovative solution to convert food waste to clean energy was implemented at Kroger’s Compton, California facility.

The Kroger Co. unveiled a clean energy production system that will convert food that cannot be sold or donated into clean energy to help power its Ralphs/Food 4 Less distribution center in Compton, California.

The anaerobic conversion system will process more than 55,000 tons of organic food waste into renewable energy annually, providing power for the more than 650,000 sq.ft. distribution center. By diverting that food waste – the equivalent of 150 tons per day – the system will also reduce area truck trips by more than 500,000 miles each year. The Kroger Recovery System uses a sophisticated process to convert the carbon in organic material into a renewable source of methane.

“We are committed to finding solutions for food waste and clean energy, and we believe this is a meaningful step forward,” said Rodney McMullen, Kroger’s president and chief operating officer. “Investing in this project is a good business decision for Kroger and, most importantly, an extraordinary opportunity to benefit the environment.”

The Kroger Recovery System utilizes anaerobic digestion, a naturally occurring process, to transform organic food that cannot be sold or donated, and on-site food-processing effluent, into renewable biogas. This biogas is then turned into power for on-site operations. The process is carried out in an enclosed, oxygen-free environment, which means the process takes up less space and generates no odors. The system will provide enough renewable biogas to offset more than 20 percent of the energy demand of the Ralphs/Food 4 Less distribution center. Combining the use of renewable energy power with more than 150 zero emission fuel cell fork lifts, the Ralphs/Food 4 Less distribution center is one of the greenest and most efficient.