Cincinnati — The Kroger Co. has launched a new wastewater treatment system — an anaerobic digester —at K.B. Specialty Foods, a manufacturing plant owned and operated by the company in Greensburg, Ind. The digester will convert biogas from food byproducts into energy.
"Kroger recently announced its Zero Hunger | Zero Waste initiative, an exciting plan to end hunger in the communities we call home and eliminate waste in our company by 2025," says Erin Sharp, Kroger's group vice president of manufacturing. "With 33 of our 36 plants already reaching the Zero Waste manufacturing goals we established several years ago, these facilities have pioneered the way for us to achieve our moonshoot vision."
K.B. Specialty Foods, which produces deli salads, cake icing and refrigerated side dishes, has been a Zero Waste facility since 2014, diverting more than 90% of waste produced from landfills each year, and is now home to the company's second anaerobic digester.
The new $9.5 million anaerobic digester, which replaced a conventional wastewater treatment system, features a dome that captures biogas from food byproducts at the plant and converts it into energy through anaerobic digestion while also improving air quality.
"We invested in the digester because it improves our sustainability performance, supports better air quality and provides a cost savings to the company," says Sharp. "Once the digester is operating at its optimal level, we project it will have the capability to produce nearly 30% of the plant's electricity."
Kroger's first anaerobic digester, which converts organic materials into renewable biogas, was installed in 2013 at the Ralphs-Food 4 Less distribution center in Compton, Calif.
"Our associates remain committed to reducing our impact on the environment by using natural resources responsibly and minimizing waste throughout our operations to help us achieve our Zero Waste goals,” adds Sharp.
SOURCE: The Kroger Co.