Erin Blasko | March 26, 2019
A new food waste system at the University of Notre Dame is poised to reduce nonconsumable food waste on campus by more than 2,000 pounds per day while contributing to the clean energy needs of a local farm — thanks, in large part, to the hard work of several Notre Dame students.
A product of Emerson Electric, Grind2Energy prepares food waste to be converted to clean, renewable energy, reducing waste as well as odors, pests and emissions — all while protecting the environment. Notre Dame is only the second school in the nation to invest in the innovative food-waste recycling system.
“Our implementation of this solution to tackle a large portion of our nonconsumable food waste enables us to take a big step towards meeting our waste diversion goals set as part of our University Comprehensive Sustainability Strategy,” said Carol Mullaney, senior director of sustainability at Notre Dame. “While we continue to work on source reduction and donations of consumable food to local outlets, we will still have food waste and it’s exciting to know that it will now avoid the landfill and be converted into clean energy.”
The University installed the first of three Grind2Energy systems, consisting of a processing sink, grinder and 5,000-gallon outdoor holding tank, at the Center for Culinary Excellence (CCE), part of University Catering, in January.
The holding tank, anchored to a concrete pad, stands about 15 feet tall. It is heated from the inside to keep the contents from freezing. A heated cover also helps to insulate the tank from the cold. That includes the recent polar vortex, which saw temperatures drop well below zero.
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