Supermarket Chain Transforms Old Onion Rings (And Other Expired Goodies) Into Electricity

Stop and Shop’s anaerobic digester reduces the cost of energy for their distribution center in Freetown, Massachusetts that runs 24/7. Photo courtesy Stop and Shop

Each year billions of pounds of food go to waste. That means billions of dollars, too. The Environmental Protection Agency says more food reaches landfills and incinerators than any other one material in our trash. And for supermarkets, that leftover food equates to lost dollars.

One New England supermarket chain is now trying to get some of those dollars back by sending old food once consigned to trash compactors to a giant energy plant in Massachusetts. It’s called an “anaerobic digester,” and it’s basically a big metal stomach, which gobbles up old food — and turns that waste into power.

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