Daly’s Dining Hall installs biodigester to reduce food waste

By Tori Pender and Elena Lobo

Daly Dinning Hall has begun to utilize an innovative machine called the Seed Biodigester, created by BioHiTech America. This furthers the university’s nationally-recognized commitment to sustainability.

Director of Sustainability Melissa Greenberg explained that the biodigester was installed at the end of January to replace the digester that was previously installed in 2014.

The current biodigester can process up to 500 pounds of food waste per day, according to BioHiTech’s website.

Greenberg said, an average of 100 pounds of food waste each day is sent through the machine.

Food that goes through the digester is turned into greywater. Greywater is no longer drinkable but remains safe to dispose of without additional treatment even after it has been used for activities such as washing dishes or clothing. Greywater is also beneficial because it can be discarded into the municipal sewage system, unlike food waste that is typically moved to a landfill.

Once treated, greywater can be used in food-producing and non-food-producing plants.

According to the Broncs Go Green Instagram account, since Feb. 10, 2021, over 1,143 pounds of food waste have been turned into greywater and diverted from the landfill.

“The impact is mostly unseen by the Rider community. The savings come in theform of a decrease in solid waste from Daly’s and therefore the campus as a whole. When food waste can be turned into water and goes down a drain rather than gettinghauled to a landfill, there are both financial and carbon savings as a result,” said Greenberg.

Sophomore biology major Nicole Tremble has been inspired by Rider’s continued process of becoming more eco-friendly.

Tremble said, “Rider’s dedication to being sustainable is not only amazing but alsomotivating. Their mission has helped me realize just how easy it is to cut back on using plastic and paper, and instead use reusable items.”

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