AT&T, Emerson Team up, Use IoT to Tackle Food Waste

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AT&T, Emerson Team up, Use IoT to Tackle Food Waste


Next week families across the U.S. will sit down with their friends and families to celebrate Thanksgiving.  Collectively, those families will also throw away an estimated 200 million pounds of turkey during the holiday, costing $293 million. And that’s just one day.

But most food waste comes from restaurants, hotels, supermarkets, hospitals and arenas.  Inedible turkey parts such as bones, and skins as well as vegetable stalks and stems, surplus ingredients and extra pies never make it to a pot or plate. 

The U.S. wastes 1.3 billion tons of food each year. This IoT solution developed by Emerson and AT&T turns commercial food waste into slurry that can be used as a fertilizer or as natural gas.

What if all that turkey – along with the other 1.3 billion tons of wasted food each year - could be turned into clean energy and fertilizer instead?

Emerson is doing just that with its Grind2Energy food waste recycle solution, a device which turns food waste from commercial kitchens into a nutrient-rich slurry that can then be turned into natural gas and fertilizer, according to a blog post. To be successful in the marketplace, the Grind2Energy system had to be cost-competitive and efficient in the face of rising waste-hauling costs. To help increase scalability of the system and ensure even more food waste could be converted, Emerson turned to AT&T to integrate Internet of Things (IoT) solutions and robust reporting.

Before Iot, everything was manual. Now with IoT, monitoring the systems’ performance and tracking the data is simplified.

 In 2018, Grind2Energy helped its customers reduce the amount of food waste going to landfills by an estimated 7,400 tons– or nearly 1 million turkeys.  This recycled food waste generated 1.3 million KWh of clean electricity – the equivalent of powering 125 homes for a year -- and 420 tons of fertilizer.

Learn more about food waste by reading this case study here.