Food power per hour: Converting your food waste into energy

Save on Energy Contributors
Resource type:
Reports and discussion papers

This article from Save on Energy explores the what, where, why and how of food waste in North America - as well as potential opportunities to turn that waste into something positive. For example, methane from anaerobic decaying food waste can be burned and used as electricity and compost can be used as fertilizer to help grow nutritious crops. Discovering new solutions to the issue of food waste can not only help divert food to the 800 million people around the world who are hungry, but also reduce our impact on the planet and climate change.

To effectively achieve these goals requires cooperation and participation from everyone, including government, businesses and consumers. In New York City, for example, businesses stepped up to the Mayor's Zero Waste Challenge: restaurants composted organic waste, trained chefs to improve meal planning, reduced the amount of food produced after peak periods, and donated surplus food to an NGO that provides meals to the city’s homeless shelters. The 31 businesses that participated in the challenge collectively diverted 37,000 tons of waste by increasing recycling efforts, composting over 24,500 tons of organic material, and donating 322 tons of food.

This resource provides many inspiring real life examples about how we can tackle food waste and is definitely worth the read. There are also helpful infographics that demonstrate how much energy can be converted into electricity, how much food is wasted by food category, how much food is wasted by type of location and tips for reducing food waste at the household level.  

This resource presents evidence or data but has not been peer reviewed