Wasted Food Can be Processed for Agriculture
By Jessica Theisman, Associate Editor
California Ag Today recently met with Tinia Pina, CEO of Re-Nuble. She told us about the company and what they stand for.
“We focus on sourcing food waste from wholesale food distributors,” she said.
Re-Nuble works on diverting food to food banks instead of landfills.
Re-Nuble primarily sources in urban areas due to compliance and regularity drivers to divert the food from landfills. New York City has a 2020 goal of achieving zero waste.
“The waste that can not be diverted to food banks is processed in a more cheaply manner,” Pina said.
This waste is turned into a product that is sold directly to farms as well as through resellers as an organic liquid fertilizer and pelletized fertilizer.
“It is just raw green food waste. There is that much volume at the wholesale produce distribution level,” Pina explained.
Food that ends up as ‘waste’ is usually because it does not meet food safety compliance.
“It could be from temperatures varying, the food fell on the floor, broken pallets, and anything that would subject it to the risk of contamination; that is at the point that we collect it,” Pina said.
Re-Nuble is essentially networking, collecting, and turning food around as another renewable resource.
“We work with a hauler to source it from our one wholesale food distributor and we take it on a daily basis and we basically, within 24 hours, turn it into either a liquid fertilizer that is sold as a fertilizer for controlled environment agriculture or as a pelletized fertilizer, which is great for soil environments,” Pina explained.
The fertilizer is either resold through some of Re-Nuble’s distribution partners or directly to the farms. Re-Nuble is currently in New York; however, they are working on extending out to California.