We've talked about food waste before - remember the program turning food waste into energy at Disney World? Or the world leaders who were fed trash to raise awareness about the issue? These are all incredible programs but they're also fairly inaccessible to the average person. This means that for someone without the ability to have a compost bin in the backyard or acres of land to host one of those behemoth waste energy plants, dealing with food waste in an environmentally responsible way can be quite challenging.
A fantastic little unit named HORSE is poised to change all of that.
HORSE, which stands for High-solids Organic-waste Recycling System with Electrical Output, is made by Seattle-based company Impact Bioenergy. It is basically a small scale version of the large food waste processing plants we have seen springing up across the country, with one very important difference - it's portable. It's size and easily transportable build means it can either be set up in a community center or apartment building, or trucked around to events to provide seamless food waste disposal with no muss, no fuss.
The impact of creating a scale-able (and relatively affordable) method of converting food waste to energy could be incredible. Paired with extensive recycling programs, a HORSE unit in each neighborhood could mean that our communities would be virtually waste free, and generating clean energy. It's an astounding idea, and one which I hope soon becomes a reality.
For the size of this unit, the specs are pretty impressive:
- Each HORSE unit can convert 25 tons of organic waste per year into about 5400 gallons of liquid fertilizer and up to 37 MWh (megawatt-hours) of energy.
- With a daily input rate of 135 lb (61.2 kg) of organic waste, a single HORSE could produce up to 360,000 BTU of energy per day, and 2.5 kW per hour in electric output, with virtually no waste, using the power of microbes to do the heavy lifting. (from Impact Bioenergy)
Impact Bioenergy is understandably eager to get the HORSE units on the ground, and have begun a Kickstarter campaign to do so. They have raised over $36,000 of their initial $30,000 goal, and they're now trying to push funding in order to get multiple HORSE units out into the world, chewing up food waste and churning out energy.
If you'd like to learn more about this project or get in on the ground floor, just click here. Giddy up!
Feature image courtesy of Impact Bioenergy