Impacting business’ carbon emissions, a solution found in natural fertilizer

The environmental challenges posed by urban food waste are immense, yet they also present a unique opportunity. The Ellen Macarthur Foundation has highlighted that cities act as nutrient sinks, where food is concentrated, consumed, and ultimately wasted. This results in a loss of valuable nutrients that could otherwise be recycled back into the ecosystem. With The Waste Transformers, businesses and municipalities are provided with an on-site food waste solution: transforming food waste into clean energy and natural liquid fertilizer, independently and on-site. Food waste based fertilizer impacts a business’s carbon emissions. But how? Let’s dive into the unknown world of food waste based fertilizers, sourced from your own companies food waste streams, creating a myriad of benefits for cities, farmers, and businesses.  

The hidden cost of chemical fertilizers

Chemical fertilizers, widely used in agriculture and landscaping, come with significant downsides. For countries, the import of these fertilizers represents a substantial economic burden. For farmers and businesses, such as hotels with lush gardens, the cost is not just financial. Chemical fertilizers contribute to soil degradation, water pollution, and loss of biodiversity. Over time, they can reduce soil fertility, making it harder to grow crops without increasing the yearly increased reliance on synthetic inputs, increasing yearly costs of fertilizer and additional irrigation.  

Moreover, chemical fertilizers are energy-intensive to produce, contributing to greenhouse gas emissions. The environmental toll extends to water bodies, where runoff leads to eutrophication, creating dead zones that harm aquatic life. The health risks associated with chemical residues in food are also a growing concern among consumers.  

Cities: The source of natural nutrients

Ironically, cities, where the problem of food waste is most noticeable, hold the key to a sustainable solution. The food waste generated in urban areas is rich in nutrients that can be reclaimed and repurposed. The Waste Transformers’ on-site biodigesters offer a practical and efficient way to harness these nutrients. 

By installing Waste Transformers in businesses, municipalities, and communities, food waste can be processed locally. This not only reduces the burden on landfills but also converts the food waste into valuable resources. The resulting biogas transformed into electricity and heat, provides clean energy for local use, reducing energy costs and reliance on fossil fuels. Simultaneously, the natural liquid fertilizer produced can replace chemical fertilizers, promoting healthier soils and ecosystems.

Real-world applications and hydroponic research 

The Waste Transformers and growth specialists and research firms are conducting ongoing field research to validate the effectiveness of food waste based fertilizers. In collaboration with an IKEA restaurant, they have tested growing leafy greens in hydroponic systems. The status quo of using chemical fertilizer was tested against nutrients derived from the restaurant’s food waste. This not only highlights the potential for healthy crop yields but also underscores the quality and safety of the food waste based fertilizers. 

Growing professional sports fields on food waste nutrients

Further, The Waste Transformers are partnering with UEFA to explore the usage of food waste-derived nutrients in growing grass for professional sports fields. Preliminary tests indicate that the natural fertilizer supports grass growth, essential for maintaining high-quality playing surfaces. For these tests, grass colour, bounciness and density are important variables to test on. The food waste based fertilizer is undergoing certification, to make this available on the market. This initiative not only showcases the versatility of the food waste based fertilizers but also its applicability in diverse contexts, such as football fields and golf courses. As multiple European clubs highlighted, preference is given to organic fertilizers as players’ health is a key variable.  

Certification of food waste based fertilizer

The Waste Transformers are in the process of obtaining certification for their natural fertilizer coming from local food waste sources valorized within a company. This will ensure that the product meets stringent quality and safety standards, paving the way for broader adoption and application.  

As cities around the world grapple with the dual challenges of food waste management, sustainable agriculture and creating green havens in cities to cope with the increasing heatwaves in summer, The Waste Transformers’ approach offers a viable path forward. It provides a model that is both environmentally sound and economically beneficial. 

Municipalities can leverage this technology to create tangible awareness around food waste reduction programs and promote urban agriculture, green public parks and sports fields, enhancing the quality of life for residents. 

Implement a circular approach in future proof municipalities

The transformation of urban food waste into valuable resources through the on-site modular biodigesters represents a significant step towards a sustainable future. By addressing the environmental issues associated with food waste and chemical fertilizers, an on-site biodigester offers a win-win scenario for cities, businesses, and the planet. As more municipalities look for sustainable food waste solutions, they can move closer to a circular economy where food waste is not just managed, but valorized, turning a problem into a powerful resource for sustainable growth, sustainability and less food waste.  


About The Waste Transformers: The Waste Transformers is a Dutch cleantech pioneer, providing on-site innovative technologies to transform unavoidable food waste into sustainable energy and natural fertilizers, enabling local positive change.

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