Northgate Markets And Emerson Partner To Bring Food Waste Recycling System To California

Whether they're craving cilantro-speckled guacamole or tangy ceviche that still tastes of the ocean, Northgate Markets is a destination for shoppers who want a foodie experience with every trip to the market. The bountiful options offer shoppers a bigger selection of fresh, healthy food—but create a dilemma for supermarkets like Northgate itself: What to do with the food scraps?

Food scraps are a natural and unavoidable result of freshly preparing food on-site, a trend that is rising among grocery stores. For Northgate Markets, these scraps add up quickly: Just one store in the southern California chain uses six cases of avocados each day to prepare guacamole and other fresh items. That's nearly 300 avocado pits and skins that require disposal—somewhere other than a landfill, according to California legislation that went into effect in April.

Emerson offered an easy solution that didn't take everything but the kitchen sink to discover. Northgate Markets is introducing Grind2Energy™, Emerson's system to turn food waste into energy, to help address food waste across its stores. The markets are the first in California to use the innovative system.

"Before Grind2Energy, we were spending hours each day composting our food scraps," said Keith McCarron, director of distribution for Northgate Markets. "Grind2Energy has given us a way to dispose of this waste in a clean, orderly way without spending a lot of time or taking up valuable space, like composting does. And even better, we're able to turn food scraps into energy and into a positive for both Northgate and the environment."

Through Grind2Energy's unique process, food waste is ground at Northgate Markets using a specially engineered, industrial-strength InSinkErator® grinder. The food waste is converted into a slurry, which is safely stored in sealed tanks before being transported to the Joint Water Pollution Control Plant, a Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County facility and one of the largest wastewater treatment plants in the world.

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