According to the Environmental Protection Agency, Americans discarded 34 million tons of food scraps as waste in 2010. Recycling these scraps is a challenge, especially for grocery stores and commercial kitchens.
To try to reduce food waste, a company called WISErg has developed the Harvester, a zero waste nutrient recovery system that can turn rotting produce and moldy bread into plant fertilizer. It uses resource recovery technology that helps food service providers prevent food from becoming waste.
The industrial-sized machines grind up to 4,000 pounds of scraps each day in order to produce a liquid fertilizer that people can buy at their local store.
Washington state supermarket chain PCC Natural Food Markets installed Harvesters in its stores in 2012 and has also been selling the WISErganic fertilizer, which has proved popular with customers. You can watch an excerpt from an interview with Diana Chapman, Director of Sustainability for PCC Natural Food Markets, below: