Diverting Tons of Waste from Landfills to Make Renewable Energy
More than 10 years ago, Brett Reinford received a call from a grocery store representative wondering if the farm’s digester, which is designed to generate power from manure, could handle spoiled produce. After researching the digester’s capability and successfully recycling, other local companies contacted Reinford looking to send him their food waste instead of sending it to landfills.
Since then, Reinford Farms has installed another digester that is three times the size of the original one. The farm now works with 30 grocery stores and food manufacturing companies to recycle up to 12,000 gallons of food waste every day, and has diverted more than 100,000 tons (or 2 million pounds) of food waste from landfills since 2008. All told, the digester generates enough electricity to power the dairy farm and about 400 homes.
The farm is also known for recycling the 1,000 pounds of non-edible scrap butter from the famous PA Farm Show butter sculpture each year.
“We wouldn’t have imagined a dozen years ago we’d be doing something like this. The one thing about waste is there’s always going to be more. It’s a recession-proof business, and it’s a critical component to our farm’s bottom line,” said Reinford.
Land O’Lakes, Inc. Member-Owner Reinford Farms Wins U.S. Dairy Sustainability Award