Pest control has been an ongoing losing battle for most major cities for centuries. In more recent times, traditional methods to control pests often involve poisonous chemicals that are expensive to deploy and potentially harmful to the people living there as well as the environment. But at the same time these cities continue to wage a war against disease carrying pests like rats and other rodents, they are rolling out what is essentially a daily curbside buffet for these pests in the form of half-eaten meals and discarded or expired food that sits in garbage bags left on city streets for collection. Solutions like better waste containers and more frequent garbage pickups have been largely ineffective at curbing the alarming growth rate in urban rat populations, as persistent rodents have been known to chew through just about anything that gets in their way to get the food they need.
While the rodent problem in major cities continues to persist, the news is not all bad. In the past decade, an increasing number of states are beginning to add food to the list of mandatory recyclables required by law and some major cities like New York have begun launching a more aggressive opposition against the rats. But no matter what attempts they make, the most accurate assessment in regard to controlling the rodent population should be credited to New York City Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia, “The best way to eliminate rats is to deprive them of food.”
A major part of the solution to New York City’s rat infestation may lie in the Mayor’s Zero Waste plan. As part of that plan, the City passed legislation in 2016 requiring certain high volume businesses, like food manufacturers, arenas, and hotels with more than 150 rooms, to divert organic waste from the traditional waste stream destined for landfill. In February of this year, the City expanded that legislation to include large footprint food retailers and restaurants as well as chain restaurants like Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks where multiple locations within the five boroughs have a common owner. By diverting more organics, New York City hopes to solve a number of issues associated with food waste disposal and, as is usually the case, technology is lending a hand. Technologies that address food waste at the point of generation are beginning to gain traction as a viable solution for achieving any “Zero Waste” plan. By addressing the organic waste at the point of generation, it is possible to not only take it from the waste stream, but also eliminate it as a source of food to fuel rodent population growth.
Our New York based technology company, BioHiTech, offers a cost effective on-site food waste disposal solution that may be the key to achieving both objectives with the added benefit of helping to reduce overall waste generation through supply chain data analytics. BioHiTech utilizes on-site Aerobic digestion, an approved alternative solution for food waste disposal, that basically digests food scraps and most organic waste resulting in a liquid discharge that is safely eliminated through standard sewer lines, bypassing the traditional trip to the dumpster or curb for pickup. Additionally, if those sewer lines lead to an advanced wastewater treatment facility the discharge can ultimately be used as a fuel source to generate renewable energy and to produce beneficial fertilizers.
And we take traditional aerobic digestion one step further, by helping our customers become smarter about the waste they are generating through actionable information. We developed the BioHiTech Cloud, a sophisticated data analytics platform, making BioHiTech the only aerobic digestion company that provides its customers with access to real-time data. Each BioHiTech digester is equipped with a built-in scale and internet connected technology that enables our customers to track their disposal process in real-time to ensure no food waste is improperly disposed while simultaneously providing regulators with accurate data to help track the results of their imposed regulation. The data can also help our customers better manage their supply chain by making them smarter about what they are throwing out. We view this information technology as one of the key factors in achieving Zero Waste.
Waste management is one of the most time-intensive and frustrating tasks endured by food service employees. It’s difficult, it’s messy and it’s expensive. Digesters can remove food waste from dumpsters or the curb, eliminating unwanted vermin and odors as well as relieving many of the demands on housekeeping. As more and more businesses, cities and neighborhoods seek to address their needs for sustainable food waste disposal solutions to help combat rodent infestation, we offer an affordable and effective solution to safely control food waste and maybe even a way to finally win the pest control battle.