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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

This Week in Trash: St. Louis Catering Company Will Start Liquifying Its Leftovers

Posted By on Tue, Apr 20, 2010 at 1:40 PM

Meet the Orca Green, the very latest in waste disposal. - IMAGE SOURCE
  • Image source
  • Meet the Orca Green, the very latest in waste disposal.

How do you dispose of your trash? Do you shove it in a plastic bag and send it off to decompose in a landfill? Do you shove it down your garbage disposal and let the little blades chop it into tiny bits that can float through the sewer? Do you compost it and turn it into fertilizer? St. Louis caterer Butler's Pantry has just invested in a novel form of garbage disposal: the Orca Green composting "bioreactor," which turns waste into gray water and carbon dioxide.

The Orca Green doesn't come cheap. The St. Louis Business Journal reports that the company paid $40,000 for the machine, but president Richard Nix, Jr., told the Business Journal that with the money he'll be saving on trash-hauling, he expects the machine to pay for itself within a few years.

The machine looks like a small, stainless-steel Dumpster and can process up to 2,000 pounds of waste per day. It uses environmentally-friendly microorganisms that break down food and biodegradable materials over the course of 24 hours. The machine operates at a low temperature so it doesn't smell, and the manufacturers promise that it leaves no sludge or other waste products behind.

click to enlarge The progress of leftover fruits and veggies through an Orca Green. - IMAGE SOURCE
  • Image source
  • The progress of leftover fruits and veggies through an Orca Green.

Nix adds that Butler's Pantry will be bringing the leftovers from large catering jobs back to the kitchen to process in the Orca Green. The company is also investigating ways to use the gray water byproduct as fertilizer in its herb garden.

The Orca Green was invented in South Korea; there are currently only about 7,000 in use in the world and one in St. Louis.

Here's a video that shows how the machine works:

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