Hunting for sources of energy is all the rage these days as fuel reservoirs dry up and our demands for energy increase. The trend has prompted us to devise equipment ranging from solar panels, wind turbines and fuel cells. But a source that could serve as a double-edged weapon is food waste. Using it to create biofuel and clean up waste in the process is a win-win situation. Along these lines, the state of Massachusetts has become the first in the United States to implement a ban on the generation of commercial find waste that usually finds its way into landfills. Once the initiative gets underway, it’s likely that the prohibition will be implemented in other states as well.
The ban will cover such establishments as hotels, restaurants, companies and hospitals. It’s estimated that Massachusetts produces about 1.4 million tons of waste food every year. That’s a massive number which is usually left unutilized. With the ban, not only will thousands of pounds of food be used to generate electricity, but it will help reduce garbage at the landfills.
Modern food waste recycling systems use bacteria to break down food and produce hydrogen or methane gases which are then used to produce electricity. The Massachusetts initiative is currently in the legislative process and officials are hopeful that the ban will slowly extend to residential homes in the future. It’s expected that the proposal will be enacted in the next five years.
According to the UN, the world’s wealthiest nations waste about 222 million tons of food each year. Not only do they clog up landfills but they release potentially dangerous gases into the atmosphere. If the gases can be harnessed instead of being allowed to make their way into the air, then not only would it benefit the environment but serve as an important source of energy as well.