What are the best ways to turn fruit & vegetable waste into value?

That rotting fruit in your kitchen bin – did you know that you could convert it into stuff of value? Something on the lines of fuel or fertilizers?

Households, industries and commercial establishments – all generate a significant amount of fruit and vegetable waste all year round. Until a few years back, these were just dumped into the landfill.

There is a better way to handle them.

Fruit and vegetable waste are rich in organic matter. And they are wet as hell as well.

Such wet, organic matter can be easily converted to either compost or biogas.

  • Turning them into compost is really easy – all you need to do is to deposit these in compost bins and wait for sometime! (about 3 months, in a typical home composting)
  • Turning these into biogas will  require these to be used in equipments called biodigesters. In these equipment, select bacteria act on these waste and in turn release biogas.

In both the above, the hard work of converting these waste into compost or fertilizer is done by micro-organisms such as bacteria. They (the bacteria) charge you nothing for doing this. Thus, you are converting waste to value at little cost

Well, the “little cost” part may not always be true, as large biogas digesters or composting facilities could be quite expensive to both own and operate, but at small scales, typical at residences or small communities, turning fruit or vegetable waste into compost or biogas costs almost nothing!

Compost can be used to enrich your soil; biogas can be used as a fuel for household heating.

I recall an assignment I did a few years back for a senior Pepsi company researcher who was exploring emerging solutions to convert fruit waste (which the company was having in plenty, understandably) into anything of value. Most solutions we finally shortlisted converted such waste into biogas.

What are the best ways to turn fruit & vegetable waste into value? - Cleantech Guide

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