Retailers in Washington, Oregon to Convert Food Waste Into Renewable Energy

Divert's 1st-of-its-kind facility in the Evergreen State to prevent waste from emitting harmful methane in landfills
Marian Zboraj, Progressive Grocer
Divert Longview
Divert's new Integrated diversion and energy facility, in Longview, Wash., will have the capability to process 100,00 tons of wasted food a year from Washington state and Oregon into carbon-negative renewable energy.

Food retailers in Washington state and Oregon will soon be able to better reach their sustainability goals. Impact technology company Divert Inc. has broken ground on an integrated diversion and energy facility in Longview, Wash., the first of its kind in the state. The new facility will have the capacity to process 100,000 tons of wasted food a year from Washington and Oregon into carbon-negative renewable energy, bringing the region closer to its goals to reduce wasted food and greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions.

“Divert is at the forefront of the fight against wasted food, driving significant progress across the U.S., and now in a first for the state of Washington,” said Ryan Begin, CEO and co-founder of Divert, which is based in Tel Aviv, with a main office in New York. “Leveraging 16 years of leadership and knowledge in the industry, our company is eager to support businesses across Washington and Oregon in preventing waste and complying with food waste legislation. This is an important moment for Divert and the Pacific Northwest in driving transformative change for the industry and solidifying our commitment to a waste-free world.”

[Read more: "Winning the Food Waste Battle”]

According to Divert, Washington generates more than 2.7 million tons of wasted food annually, of which approximately 1 million goes to landfill and 47% is still edible food. In Oregon, 1.11 million tons of wasted food were generated in 2021, with nearly 30% going to landfill. The Longview facility will enable Pacific Northwest commercial waste generators and local jurisdictions to address this problem and comply with Washington’s HB 1799 legislation and Organics Management Law, as well as Oregon Metro’s Food Scraps Policy. The facility will be able to accept wasted food from retail food customers, as well as agricultural food producers, industrial food manufacturers, local jurisdictions, restaurants, foodservice, and institutional or commercial waste generators.

The 66,000-square-foot facility will provide companies with actionable data to take preventive steps to waste less and donate more food that’s still edible. Leveraging Divert’s proprietary depackaging process and anaerobic digestion, the facility will also transform waste from retailers and other companies into carbon-negative renewable energy, thereby preventing it from emitting harmful methane in landfills. Once fully operational in 2024, the facility will be able to offset up to 23,000 metric tons of CO2 a year at full processing capacity, equivalent to removing 5,000 gas-powered cars from the road annually.

Divert and Calgary, Alberta-based energy infrastructure company Enbridge Inc. are together expecting to invest nearly $100 million in the project and the local economy. Both companies revealed an infrastructure agreement for up to $1 billion earlier this year.

Divert operates 10 facilities across the United States, working with nearly 5,400 retail stores to process more than 2.3 billion pounds of wasted food. In April, the company broke ground on another integrated diversion and energy facility, in Turlock, Calif. The Longview facility brings Divert closer to delivering on its commitment to expand to 30 facilities across the United States to be within 100 miles of 80% of the population by 2031.

Founded in 2007, Divert creates advanced technologies and sustainable infrastructure to eliminate wasted food, driving social and environmental impact. Divert provides an end-to-end solution that prevents waste by maximizing the freshness of food, recovers edible food to serve communities in need and converts wasted food into renewable energy. The company works with nearly 5,400 retail stores across the nation.

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