Kroger puts food waste to work

Kroger plans on putting food waste to good use with a clean energy production system that converts food that cannot be sold or donated into clean energy, which will help power its Ralphs/Food 4 Less distribution center in Compton, Calif.

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 will 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 COO. "Investing in this project is a good business decision for Kroger and, most important, an extraordinary opportunity to benefit the environment. We want to thank Governor Brown and his team at CalRecycle and CalEPA, the City of Compton, the SCAQMD and our partners at Feed for making this renewable energy project a reality."

The Kroger Recovery System is designed and operated by Feed Resource Recovery Inc., a clean technology company founded in Boston, Mass., in 2007. Feed has designed and implemented a Zero Waste solution, called R2S, for the food industry. Its approach leverages customers' existing transportation and distribution systems to generate clean, sustainable power for onsite operations, reduce emissions and save millions of dollars on waste removal costs.