The Eco-Safe Digester Benefits the Environment, While Cutting Costs and Labor
Private Clubs all over the tri-state area are turning their kitchen operations “green” thanks to the Eco-Safe Digester. Clubs have been focused on greening their courses for many years, but now the focus has turned to the Clubhouse operation.
“The kitchen waste stream was something that I really did not think about until now. When the the Eco-Safe Digester was introduced to me I was immediately interested. Now we turn all our organic restaurant waste into water that just flows down the drain, instead of having it carted away to contribute to pollution in local landfills,” said Colin A. Burns, CCM, General Manager of Winged Foot Golf Club.
The unique new organic waste decomposition machine, a breakthrough in recycling technology, gives clubs the chance to positively impact the environment and save money at the same time. “The Eco-Safe Digester is one of those rare new technologies that is completely unique and in fact works,” says Burns. “Green is not just for the golf courses. Clubs all over the country are looking at ways to green their clubhouse operations,” comments Burns who has been a Club manager since 1987.
The digester, exclusively distributed in the US by New Jersey-based BioHitech America, delivers a broad range of additional benefits involving another sort of green. It has, in almost all cases, eliminated the need for annual restaurant garbage carting services and when taking the leasing fees for the device into account, delivers significant savings on garbage carting. “In our case, there is the added financial benefit of labor savings. We no longer have kitchen staff hauling garbage well away from the restaurant to an out-of-the-way club location, where it sat in dumpsters until pick-up,” said Burns. The Eco-Safe Digester eliminates the mess, complications and smell associated with temporary onsite garbage storage.
The digester was installed at the Club at the start of the 2009 season. The machine immediately became an integral and important part of the food service operations. The device was situated in the kitchen itself, where the Chef knew it would be used continuously-and it is. Although the historic club’s food prep space is cramped by today’s standards, the added efficiency of the onsite organic waste disposal system has more than compensated for the real estate it occupies right in the hub of the kitchen. “Transitioning to the device was remarkably easy,” says Burns.
Food prep waste and excess from lunch and dinner plates is simply placed into the machine hatch rather than a traditional garbage bag. Instead of wet organic waste sitting in open trash cans in the kitchen or prep area, the excess food is put into the digester for rapid breakdown of the food waste. The Eco-Safe Digester liquefies the waste where it travels along with other waste water.
For the environmentally conscious business, the Eco-Safe Digester is significantly easier and more practical than attempting to compost food waste.
“Transporting wet restaurant garbage on our property was one of the most unpleasant, time-consuming and back-breaking jobs, and now it has been entirely eliminated, thanks to the Eco-Safe Digester,” Burns notes. “Morale is better, and we can use staff time much more productively. Installing the digester is one decision that simply hasn’t had a downside.”
As all three size machines deliver a full range of operational benefits, from an environmental standpoint, each year the 1200-pound capacity machine operating reduces 58 MTCE of greenhouse gases, which is equivalent to taking 40 cars off the road. It saves 1200 gallons of diesel fuel used for garbage trucking, and reduces CO2 by 470,000 pounds, which is equivalent to planting almost 100 trees. The device reduces groundwater and soil pollution, and returns tens of thousands of gallons of water to the ecosystem.
As it turns out, another benefit is that both club members and staff can take pride in their club’s growing commitment to keeping not only the club, but also the planet, clean and green.