To support efforts to improve its environmental sustainability, Lowell General Hospital recently became the first hospital in Massachusetts to turn food waste into water with the implementation of the EnviroPure EPW food waste decomposition system. The system, a self-contained unit resembling a large commercial dishwasher, converts food waste into water with a state-of-the art technology using mechanical processing, oxygen and all-natural additives to accelerate food decomposition. The tank is able to decompose food waste such as vegetables, fruit, meat, fish, poultry, dairy products, bones, shells and pits within 24 hours, producing a gray water bi-product that exceeds government standards for safe disposal into existing municipal waste water sewer systems.
“The implementation of this new system at our hospital highlights our commitment towards reducing waste and finding sustainable resources to serve our community,” says Amy Hoey, MS, BSN, RN-BC, Executive Vice President and COO. “We’re proud to be the first hospital in the state to implement this technology.”
The EnviroPure system enables Lowell General to comply with new state regulations effective this fall that will ban commercial food waste and require composting from larger institutions that dispose of organic materials, such as schools, restaurants and hospitals. The regulations are designed to reduce the amount of commercial food waste and supply funding to support anaerobic digestion (AD), a process that converts food waste into renewable energy. These organizations will be required to send that food waste to a composting site, animal-feed operation or plant that will then convert it into energy.
By integrating this EnviroPure EPW system with a new commercial dish machine, Lowell General is able to improve its carbon footprint. These new additions are estimated to save the hospital $34,000 in energy costs each year on water, sewer, electricity and waste disposal. Lowell General will also be renovating its main campus cafeteria this summer in order to improve operations and better serve its patients and visitors.