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Kroger's K.B. Specialty Foods Unveils Waste-to-energy System

The Kroger Co.'s K.B. Specialty Foods this week broke ground on a new anaerobic wastewater treatment system at its facility in Greensburg, Ind.

The modification will turn food production byproducts into energy, and is expected to lead to improved air quality in the area.

"This is one more step toward meeting our goal of becoming a zero-waste company by 2020," said Suzanne Lindsay-Walker, Kroger's director of sustainability.

Biogas to Electricity

K.B. Specialty Foods employs 270 and produces deli salads, cake icing and refrigerated side dish products sold at Kroger-owned stores across the country.

The current wastewater treatment system in the facility is open to the air. The new system will feature a dome that will capture biogas from food byproducts at the plant. The collected biogas will then be harnessed to generate electricity.

Denver-based ADI Systems, the project builder, explains that the new facility relies on a process called anaerobic digestion, in which microorganisms transform byproducts of food production into biogas. The process provides "a source of renewable energy that can be used to displace fossil fuels," ADI said. The electricity created will be sent to the plant's electrical grid.

K.B. Specialty Foods expects the new system to be operational next summer.

Cincinnati-based Kroger operates 2,781 retail food stores under a variety of local banner names in 35 states and the District of Columbia.


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