Category Archives: Technology

Smarter Waste Management Solutions may be the Key to Solving Pest Problems in Major Cities

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.

4 Ways your Restaurant Can Reduce Waste (and Save Money)


Your restaurant may literally be throwing away money. Many food service owners do not realize the impact that wasting food has on their bottom line. Over one third of the world’s food supply is wasted annually, amounting to a global profit loss of $750 billion and 133 billion pounds of food.

But profit loss is not only the only factor to consider when it comes to food waste. Restaurants also have to pay large fees to haul away trash, which piles up in landfills and is environmentally harmful. For this reason we’ve developed the below list of simple ways for you to reduce and prevent food waste and ultimately, save your restaurant money.

  • Track your Waste:

In business, we track our finances, we track our inventory, we track our staff, but all too often we forget to track our waste. In order to minimize food waste and ensure proper and efficient disposal, it’s important to note what, when and how much food is being thrown out. Tracking food waste allows you to pinpoint operational inefficiencies, which can lead to smarter purchasing decisions and reduced hauling/disposal costs.

“Improved waste tracking and analysis can help restaurants and food service producers generate more than $1 billion in profit through lowered food purchase costs” –ReFED

BioHiTech’s Digesters are a solution that food service operators can use to track their food waste. The digesters, along with it’s cloud platform and Cirrus app, allows managers to see how much food waste is disposed as well as when and who is disposing it to make changes based off this information. The real-time access to this food waste data makes it easier to make quick adjustments.

  • Make Data-Informed Changes:

When looking at your operations, always consult the data first. Analyzing food waste data is integral to making informed decisions from what to exclude from your next purchase order, or where you should change your menu.

Data can also help you monitor your inventory as well, helping you be aware of what food you dispose of before it is used.

  • Donate:

Before disposing of any food, donate unsold, usable foods to charities, food banks and other organizations for those in need. This will help your local community and reduce food waste significantly.

  • Educate:

Teach your employees how to reduce waste and implement company policies for proper waste disposal and tracking. An effective and out of the box way to empower your employees to be accountable for waste volumes and appropriate disposal is through gamification. Location by location competitions specifically can be an effective (and fun) tactic.

It’s equally as important to educate your customers and consumers. By providing information on how to reduce food waste at home and tips for buying smart, you can help make a positive environmental impact even after the food leaves your business.

How to Solve the Food Waste Problem at its Root


Food waste is a problem across the globe. From North America to Europe and as far east as Asia, many countries are having difficulty solving this complex problem because waste occurs all along the supply chain. Because a number of states in the U.S and Europe believe that they can have the most impact on adjusting what happens at the retail level, they are steering policy towards the diversion of the waste from landfills and supporting the use of any disposal solution that encourages the prevention of the waste.

In the past few years, many states in the U.S. have started passing food waste ban legislation where supermarkets, restaurants and other establishments generating significant amounts of food waste are required to either donate to those in need or dispose of the waste through methods such as composting, anaerobic or aerobic digestion but only a few of those legislative endeavors bravely suggest that accurate diversion data is as important as the diversion itself.

BioHiTech originally saw an opportunity in the food waste sector as a simple digestion solution that would offer a more cost-effective, environmentally sustainable way to dispose of food waste on-site. After applying advanced technology and machine learning to the digester, we recognized an even greater value to our customers in prevention. When you accurately measure and categorize food waste our customers have access to that data in real time that can be used to make informed decisions impacting food needs and affecting and reducing waste along the supply chain.

Measuring and understanding food waste is one of the most important steps to preventing food waste, and at BioHiTech we are continuing to find new and innovative ways to fix this global problem.


The Smarter Kitchen


Choosing the right piece of equipment is crucial to the success of any restaurant, including waste disposal equipment, but facility managers must be wary, as equipment is no longer created equal. “Smart” connected products are going to transform the industrial equipment marketplace, will deliver the most business value, and have the largest impact. With restaurant management extending around the world, the need for these smart connected products are in great demand.

Powered by the Internet of Things, BioHiTech’s Revolution Series™ Digesters apply sensor technology, which enables the simple on-site food waste solution to capture a digital representation of the food waste volume in addition to the machine’s usage, performance, and status. The Digester’s Internet connectivity then enables the company and its customers the ability to communicate directly with the machine in order to manage and optimize its “smart” potential.

According to a study conducted by the University of Arizona, the average amount of purchased food that is wasted in a full-service restaurant is 11.3 percent making the management of cost of goods ongoing – every hour, every shift, every day, every week.

The Digester’s unique connective device provides the essential up-to-date, easy-to-access waste data 24/7/365 so that corrective actions can be taken proactively when necessary, improvements can be made to supply chain management for repeated success and work processes and waste reductions can be achieved routinely.

After the process of weighing each increment of waste to qualify its type and origin, the digester can eliminate as little as 100 pounds and as much as 2,400 pounds of food waste in a 24-hour period, depending on customer needs, by utilizing mechanical and biological treatment to convert the food waste into a liquid that is safely discharged through standard sewers.

The Digesters’ data is transmitted to the Company’s analytics cloud platform where the data is collected in real-time and also preserved historically so that trends can be analyzed and predicted. Knowing precisely what is being thrown away allows for the optimization of vendor and supplier orders to reduce the quantity of food waste planned for and received. Key metrics are also measured to help restaurant management be more efficient and effective with their labor, sales and ultimately disposal process.

Digitization also ensures ongoing compliance. Manual recording and associated documentation can now be replaced by fully automated methods and 24/7 access to reporting at your fingertips.

While most on-site food waste disposal solutions are expensive and designed for high volume users, BioHiTech’s Revolution Series targets low volume users, requires minimal floor space and has rapid throughput enabling the cost of use to be much lower than traditional waste disposal.

The next few years will be bringing monumental shifts to the industry to help to curtail waist and dispose of what is left in a more cost-effective manner. Choosing the right equipment will offer the process change necessary to accelerate smarter solutions and outcomes.


Maximizing the Value of Food Waste


Tapping into the value of food waste reporting provides vital information to more directly answer 6 key questions: Who, What, Why, When, Where and How Much. Without these basic questions answered there is no way to fully understand the problem in order to make informed decisions needed to deliver better operational, environmental and financial outcomes for your business.

BioHiTech’s cloud platform serves up real-time food waste data collected from our on-site technology solution, the Eco-Safe Digester, quantifying food waste in a fashion that has historically not been available. Our platform invites customers to observe the food waste generation habits of their employees and the overall process to uncover who, what, why, when, where and how much waste is being created.

There is a good chance that your inefficient waste process does not answer any of the above key questions and that your problems fall into one or more of these buckets.

There are significant operational, environmental and financial payoffs when collecting, managing and analyzing food waste data. Without the detailed data it is easy to fall into the trap of addressing the wrong issue and missing out on an opportunity to prevent the waste all together.

It’s All About The Data



In the waste industry, a key criticism is the lack of data or, where data does exist, a lack of accurate information. For example, almost all operations have no idea how much waste they have, what kind of waste it is, how to prevent the waste, and where the waste goes.

In recent years the conversation regarding the need and importance of data has evolved tremendously. About five years ago responses were mixed, with some expressing how important data was, while others indicated they had a hard time seeing how the additional information might benefit their operations.

In contrast, today it is rare to come across someone who isn’t interested in or doesn’t see the value that good data can bring to their operation.

The data, however, continues to be hard to get a hold of but if you are one of the lucky ones, the data you are receiving can vary from asset management to tracking utilization to understanding how many pounds are being managed to determining waste composition. The list goes on. The point is that there is a strong push to acquire data and exploit the knowledge gained to evaluate everything from internal efficiencies to potential competition.

There was always some interest in this before, but what seems to have qualitatively changed is that there is now the ability to easily acquire accurate data from none other than the Eco-Safe Digester. This on-site technology that was originally manufactured to eliminate food waste has been collecting waste data via the cloud for more than two years. Eco-Safe Digester customers are receiving data in ways they’ve never seen before.

The level of data continues to grow from once only seeing the pounds diverted and dollars saved from the traditional and compost costs to now understanding what’s happening internally in each department, by each employee and from one location to the other. The information acquired now allows a company to understand its place in the world, evaluate trends, and save more money.

As data acquisition and availability increases, operations will be able to incorporate this corporate-specific data in their operations, forecasting and business development activities.

Additionally, Ec0-Safe Digester customers as well as the public and potential investors are looking to this data to gauge what is happening with the waste that is generated and how users adjust their behavior to prevent it altogether.

Because the data is accurately measured on-site and streamed simultaneously to a secure platform its credibility is not an issue. BioHitech America represents that the data is not skewed or flawed in any way as decisions are made based on this information.

The importance of accurate data is critical as it can spell the success or failure of any sustainability project, something BioHitech America takes very seriously.

Portions of this story was previously published on May 4, 2015 in Waste 360 and written by Bryan Staley. Bryan Staley, P.E., is president of the Environmental Research and Education Foundation, a non-profit research organization that represents the entire industry and has been working to aggregate credible and reliable industry-wide data.