How hardware Can Help Recycle Food Waste

Recapping our first instalment, Technology vs Food Waste – Part 1: How Software Can Help Avoid Food Waste where avoidance is the first and most important step in addressing solutions for waste management, it is noteworthy to discuss other unavoidable waste streams that are generated through operations and other processes. Once avoidance, reduction and reuse have been optimised the next best thing to do with food waste (Figure 1) is to recycle it. 

Zero Waste Hierarchy

Figure 1: The Waste Hierarchy

This second part of the series on Technology vs Food Waste highlights the various hardware tech that companies can use to recycle food waste onsite. Here’s our list of sustainable technology and treatment options for organic waste solutions.

Technologies Used To Recycle Food Waste

  • On-site Composting and Vermicomposting

Organic waste has a nutrient and an energy value, so on-site technologies can tap into one or both of these to valorise or treat the organic waste. Some on-site composting options include in-vessel composting and vermicomposting. In these situations, organic waste degrades anaerobically to produce a nutrient rich soil conditioner.


                                                          Figure 2: Vermicomposting

  • Dehydrating Food Waste

There is also a third way to create a soil conditioner, and this is by simply dehydrating the food waste, effectively removing up to 80% of moisture content. This has the added value of stabilising the food waste and reducing volume for transport logistics.

Food waste dehydrator

                                                                            Figure 3: Food waste dehydrator

  • Anaerobic Digestion

Alternatively, anaerobic digestion is a way to extract a methane rich gas known as biogas which can be used on site for energy provision by way of heating or lighting.

  • Food Waste Digesters and Disposal Units

Other options to recycle food waste include food waste digesters and disposal units. These technologies are treatment only, and use a combination of mechanical and biological digestion to reduce the organic load for disposal to waste water treatment works.

food waste disposal unit

                                                                                                 Figure 4: Food waste disposal unit

Don’t Waste provides operational and financial modelling for various technology options and is also involved in the operation of the units. In addition, our software systems allowed for the integration of the new on-site treatment into the standard service offering, so that the correct grades are sorted and checked. Don’t Waste adopts an innovative approach of sourcing material through cross customer engagement, to maximise the utilisation of the technology.

Complementing the technology are the monthly volume and environmental reporting allowing for easy management of the system, and an indication of environmental and waste cost savings. These models have proven to be successful in reducing organic waste volumes across our SA and UK client sites.

Food waste is not only an environmental and economic issue, but a moral issue as well. Globally, approximately 690 million people go to bed hungry every night (World Vision). Don’t Waste’s suite of organic waste solutions are especially designed to be symbiotic to the environment, people and profit margins.


Don’t Waste provides industry leading business intelligence, site management, and waste management services to Property, Retail, Commercial, Industrial and Hospitality industries. Our customers include the world’s leading property management groups.

To find out more about our innovative value-added systems and services in onsite waste operations, contact:

Linus Naik- Group Manager: Sustainability & Business Development (Email: I Mobile: +27 82 552 0675).

Michael Foreman- Managing Director UK (Email: I Mobile: +44 7939 027193).