CNN Money had a chance to check out Harvest Power’s Energy Garden in Orlando. Here are highlights from their video with Harvest Power’s CEO Kathleen Ligocki, Founder Paul Sellew and the JW Marriott Executive Chef Chris Jones.
Paul Sellew, Founder of Harvest Power: “We’re in the middle of our Energy Garden here in Orlando. We’re processing all of the organics that are generated here along with a number of other businesses in the area. We take the organics that consist of food waste, biosolids from the wastewater treatment plant, and we basically co-digest these materials together and then the microbes break it down. We produce biogas which is turned into electricity which we sell it back to the overall park.”
“Disney is a very innovative company with very high standards. We agreed that the next level technology is anaerobic digestion, because not only are we going to make a very high quality product but we’re going to make energy as well.”
Kathleen Ligocki, CEO of Harvest Power: “There was a landfill here before. With the amount of food waste that this city generates, landfills have odor issues, so this is a problem they were trying to solve.”
“We’re a $150 million dollar company. We operate across the United States and Canada. The idea is to get rid of waste. Not put the waste into landfills, not incinerate it which hurts our environment, but really close the organic loop and make productive products and bioenergy out of it.”
“For a 100 cubic meters of biogas you can produce about 300 kilowatts of electricity, and that will light the normal home for 10 days.”
Chris Jones, Executive chef of JW Marriott Grand Lakes: “All of the food goes into 55-gallon containers in our kitchens which don’t need any kind of garbage bags. So we’re actually seeing a huge savings by not having to buy garbage bags.”
Kathleen Ligocki: “We are just beginning the process. Over 90% of the food waste here in the US goes to landfills or is burned, which is really not the way we want to treat it.”
Paul Sellew: “The idea is to convert this organic waste, principally food waste, into energy — renewable energy — using our anaerobic digestion technology and producing high quality products — fertilizer and compost-based soil products at the back end. We feel the United States and North America are ready for this approach.”
Learn more: See Harvest Power’s handout page with material flow diagrams, brochures, and diagrams.