Organic produce distributor Ace Natural, Long Island, N.Y., has solved what do with fruit and vegetables that are past their prime and no longer suitable for customers.
Before, the company collected and wrapped the outdated produce on pallets and refrigerated it so it wouldn’t rot while waiting for the weekly trip to an outside composter.
Now Ace Naturals feeds the produce to a liquid food composter, which breaks it down into a liquid that’s drained into the company’s sewer lines, eliminating trucking costs and freeing up warehouse refrigeration space.
An employee “feeds” the composter, manufactured by Power Knot LLC, San Jose, Calif., three times a day, disposing of up to 1,200 pounds a day. Enzymes and microbes do the rest.
“Everyone was surprised at how easy it is to use the machine,” warehouse manager Eddie Rodriguez said in a news release.
Although the company shares the sustainability message with customers, Ace Natural has not yet promoted it to consumers, but that could change.
“We are an environmentally and socially motivated company,” chief operating officer Alberto Gonzales said in the release. “We try and walk the walk when it comes to minimizing our carbon footprint.”
Ace Natural sources 80% of its products from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, where most of its customers are, according to the release.