Commercial and industrial food waste drying systems
Our Gobi Food Waste Dryers are heavy-duty food waste reduction systems that can reduce the volume and weight of waste by up to 90%
This food waste dryer can be used on various sites, including offshore marine vessels where space is often at a premium, in college and university kitchens, and hotels, remote workers’ camps and larger scale processors of organic wastes to name a few.
How do food waste dryers work?
With our Gobi Dryers, material is fed into the sealed mixing chamber where it is heated, agitated, and shredded during the process and converted into a dried granular material.
Processing time takes typically 8 hours and the only by product is condensed water which goes safely to drain or can be collected for use in irrigation.
The moisture evaporation during this dehydration phase means that the operator is left with an dry, stabilised and odourless resource, which can be used as a biomass fuel, to generate heat and hot water or it can be composted using a Rocket Composter.
What are the advantages of food waste drying?
Food and organic wastes are known for their high-moisture content sometimes up to 98%, which means that biological decomposition happens much quicker than in dried-out food waste.
By drying out waste, this not only makes it easier and safer to store due to lack of biological activity, but it also reduces the risk of attracting vermin. And by reducing the weight and volume of food waste and contaminated packed wastes it significantly decreases off-site collection and disposal costs.
Also, while local infrastructure often does not accept items such as PLA and compostable tableware because of the level of plastic contamination, Gobi Dryers are able to process these streams with ease. They simply process the biodegradable items into dry powder and leave the plastics and foils to be easily separated.
The resulting material is also space-saving and odourless meaning it can be stored safely for long periods of time without degrading. This means fewer waste collections are needed reducing the amount of transport on the road, and in turn, a company’s carbon footprint too.
Our food waste drying products
Here are some our most commonly asked questions…
This is one of the most common things we’re asked here at Tidy Planet, and the answer is no, they’re very different.
Dried food waste has the water evaporated out of it at a high heat, to reduce its moisture and weight by up to 90% resulting in an inert, stabilised powder, that can be used as a valuable fuel resource,
and not in the ground to grow produce.
That’s because as it hasn’t been through a complex biological transformation like compost, it’s missing in beneficial properties that aid moisture retention, soil structure, and microorganisms that benefit
the ground and help plant growth.
As a result, the composting process takes up to 14 days, while dehydration only takes one.
Any process claiming to produce compost in 24 hours isn’t producing ‘compost’ at all.
Food waste drying is a great solution for firms which simply want to reduce their off-site disposal costs quickly and decrease the amount of food waste being landfilled and don’t want to produce a compost
resource on site. However, the drying process uses more energy than composting, so has a higher carbon footprint.
There’s a place at the commercial food waste management table for both composting and anaerobic digestion (AD), depending on the individual needs of businesses and communities.
Here at Tidy Planet, we belong to #TeamCompost, and here’s why…
10 reasons why we prefer composting over AD
Commercial composting can be implemented on a more localised on-site scale, providing jobs for communities and championing the power of societal collaboration.
Decentralised composting means elimination of transport but the possibility of collection by greener transport methods, such as bicycles, instead of relying on trucks, thus reducing carbon emissions!
Composting food waste builds soil carbon structure and improves its fertility. As a result, this supports greater food security and regenerative farming practices.
Composting treats food waste as a resource, not as ‘rubbish’ and this is vital for creating a truly circular economy.
AD doesn’t produce ‘renewable energy’ in the traditional sense like wind or solar. Instead food waste is converted into a methane-rich biogas and burned as a fuel producing carbon emissions, so this terminology is arguably misleading.
While the Waste Hierarchy states AD is better than landfill, so is everything else. Therefore, this shouldn’t be used as a selling point. All options should be considered in priority order, with prevention being the ultimate goal.
Decentralised composting helps to reduce feedstock contamination, as this is done on a smaller scale and by the human eye, rather than chopping and screening systems which can easily miss items, particularly plastics. This is of a major concern to the UK Environment Agency.
AD digestates are often promoted as alternative ‘green fertilisers’ for applying to land, but often contain lots of microplastics, which contaminate the land for generations to come.
The high nitrogen levels and lack of carbon or structure in digestate has the same negative effects as synthetic fertilisers, damaging the soil system, which leads to soil degradation and erosion and runs off into waterways.
Unlike AD, anyone can compost on site! All you need is space to house the commercial composting unit and a desire to harness food waste as a resource!
The verdict? Hands down, the carbon-footprint winner here is on-site composting!
Learn more about composting vs. anaerobic digestion
Yes, you can – but only under the right conditions…
As environmental awareness has grown, compostable packaging has had a surge in adoption and usage among both individuals and businesses alike.
The truth is that these sustainable, plant-based packaging alternatives are only better than their single-use counterparts if they are indeed composted, otherwise they’re simply a costlier route to landfill.
All compostable packaging is designed to break down naturally when composted, but it needs to be processed under the correct conditions – just like food or garden waste. Therefore, you need to ensure that your packaging is separated
from your general waste, and that you have a system in place which guarantees it goes to a certified composting facility, or you can do it yourself, on site!
Some packaging manufacturers have started to put collection and local composting measures in place for their products, all at a fee for the customer, but here at Tidy Planet we’re flying the flag all the way for on-site commercial composting solutions.
By having your own equipment on premises, not only can you close the loop and save on the costs and carbon emissions associated with third-party collections, but you can also create a valuable resource in the process.
MORE QUESTIONS ABOUT COMPOSTABLE PACKAGING?
Head over to our FAQs page!
It supports soil regeneration, reversing the effects of climate change and it has both environmental and financial advantages for businesses.
In a word NO!
Composting requires the natural action of microbes to breakdown the complex chemical molecules in food waste. Any equipment producing compost in 24 hrs is a heating process removing the water and simply producing dried food waste. This shouldn’t be used as a soil improver or growth medium as you would compost. In the UK after drying food waste remains classified as waste.
But don’t take our word for it, see below regulatory guidance from the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency on the subject
“Composting” is defined in the Waste Management Licensing (Scotland) Regulations 2011 (WMLR), as– “the autothermic [i.e. self-heating] and thermophilic [i.e. 40-80°C] biological decomposition and stabilisationof biodegradable waste under controlled aerobic conditions that result in a stable sanitised material that can be applied to land for the benefit of agriculture, horticulture or ecological improvement”.
Processes that do not meet the definition of composting but treat food waste using heat, chemicals or biological agents to reduce the water content or volume, may be suitable for the pre-treatment of food waste prior to its separate collection and onward transport to an authorised treatment facility, e.g. an in- vessel composting (IVC) or an anaerobic digestion (AD) facility. However the residues from such processes remain waste, are not compost and are not suitable for application to land