Global Food Waste Management markets accounted for $26.86 billion in 2017 and is expected to reach $53.34 billion by 2026, growing at a CAGR of 7.9% during the forecast period. Newer indigenous products are making inroads to provide solutions to this fast-growing waste in India.
Rise in global food waste, increase in usage of organic waste for the production of animal feed & fertilizers and need for reducing greenhouse gas emissions are the key driving factors for the market growth.
“Around 35,600 metric tonnes (MT) or a quarter of the 1.43 lakh MT of garbage generated every day in Indian cities gets processed, with the remaining three quarters being dumped in open,” as quoted in an article by Times of India.
“India generates over 150,000 tonnes of municipal solid waste (MSW) per day. Yet, only 83% of waste is collected and less than 30% is treated. According to the World Bank, India’s daily waste generation will reach 377,000 tonnes by 2025.” (source: LiveMint)
According to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, one-third of the total global food production is wasted, costing the world economy about $750 billion. Annually, close to 31 million (70-75%) of waste is dumped into open landfill sites. Globally, India ranks number seven in terms of overall food waste.
The Way Forward
With rapid urbanisation and the increase in food wastage, the behavioural change of managing food waste at source would be the way forward. Especially for hotels, restaurants and commercial spaces with large canteens.
For instance, the key to efficient food waste management is through proper segregation of waste and to ensure maximum reduction of waste output volume and eventually bring it down to zero waste output. This holds true especially at any high volume waste generation sites like hotels and resorts, corporate cafeterias, F&B outlets, hospitals, educational institutions, apartments, etc. If not treated, the waste goes to landfills where it emits harmful gases that impact the environment.
The current solutions adopted by commercial players include cold storage for food waste and daily municipality collections.
New age economic solutions
Many commercial businesses that generate a lot of food waste are not aware of the new age compact solutions that exist today. They view it as an additional expense when in fact these equipments actually save cost for the business in the long run.
With local manufacturing, we have addressed the price factor greatly. The hotels and restaurants are much more open to installing dewatering machines now, instead of investing in cold storage rooms and paying the municipalities monthly,” says COO, Arpita Khadria.
There are different solutions available for different needs:
The digester is an innovative patented solution that converts the entire food waste into grey water and CO2 within 24 hours with the help of enzymes. It is suited for hassle-free disposal of waste because there is no solid waste left to handle. So, it is the most convenient and energy saving solution.
A composter is a machine that converts the food waste into pre-compost within 24-36 hours, which can be used for gardening and landscaping after further treatment.
The dewaterer is an efficient solution that helps to reduce the volume of food waste by almost 80%. This can avoid the need for cold-storages for waste handling at commercial facilities. This machine is best suited for high volume waste handling.
Reasons to invest in these solutions
1) Government Regulations
With each passing day, state governments are becoming more and more aware of the garbage collection problems. Hence, they are starting to put the onus on the businesses to handle their own waste.
For instance, the authorities of Greater Hyderabad Municipality Corporation have imposed a new rule to mandatorily install composters in all commercial establishments. Hence, businesses have consciously started making an effort to install the waste management solution.
2) Cost Savings
By installing one compact machine, commercial spaces can save space cost, labour cost, municipality cost and also transportation cost.
3) Green Practice
As the garbage problem increases in each city, businesses and offices must aim to follow greener practices and segregate waste and also treat it on campus. Some machines even give manure which can be sold or reused for landscaping, etc.
Make in India Story
Wastexpert has launched a home-grown solution like dewaterers and plans to become the alternative to landfills and help prevent the emission of methane gas to an acceptable level. Wastexpert is making food waste handling equipment affordable and more accessible for restaurants, hotels, offices and other commercial canteens.
“The main point of inertia currently is the price. And with local manufacturing, we have addressed that problem greatly. The hotels and restaurants are much more open to installing such machines now, instead of investing in cold storage rooms and paying the municipalities monthly,” says COO, Arpita Khadria.
How it works? The equipment grinds the food waste into fine particles, these particles feed directly into the built-in dewatering system. Through centrifugal action, the machine forces out the excess liquid from the macerated waste reducing it by 70%. This “grey water” is fed directly to drain, the resulting solid fraction of the food waste is collected in small, easily managed, lidded bins, ready for onward processing.