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Resiliency Means Not Letting Anything Go to Waste

Resilience means not wasting anything

How Reinford Farm converts waste into energy

At Rubicon®, we believe it is important to emphasize all aspects of our work, from the men and women who manage our waste and recycling, to our customers who are leading the fight against COVID-19, to our city partners who are dealing with the waste war.

Last year, shortly before launching a series of perishable foods, a large national grocery chain contacted us to learn more about our organic recycling products. Prior to that, Rubicon mainly worked with customers to deal with plastic, paper and cardboard recycling issues. But retailers understand that selling fresh food brings different challenges.

Before launching the perishable food line, the discount chain only sold packaged food. Their distributors will ship the food directly to them and take away expired products. After the launch, the company is responsible for handling expired products, including expired milk-this is a special challenge.

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The customer turned to Rubicon for help. Recycling expired milk involves a lot of costs, but the company’s leaders insist that they will not let the product fall into the drain.

Rubicon worked with Reinford Farms in Pennsylvania to create a project in which expired milk would be recycled. This milk undergoes a process called anaerobic digestion, which breaks it down into two substances-biogas and digest.

The biogas produced in this process can generate electricity for a full 1,300 acres of land in Reinford Farms, and enough energy can be sold back to the local power company to power 500 households.

Digestion is a nutrient-rich substance that can be applied to the land as a natural fertilizer to increase yield and the ability of plants on the land to absorb carbon from the atmosphere. In 2019, we shipped 4,134 tons of milk to Reinford Farms, reducing 2,414 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent-equivalent to the greenhouse gas emissions of 521 passenger cars driving for a year.

Earlier this year, just before the COVID-19 public health emergency became popular in the United States, I went to Pennsylvania to meet with Reinford Farms manager Brett Reinford and talked to him about the establishment of his farm and the daily operations of Reinford:

To learn more about Rubicon's work to change the entire waste and recycling category, be sure to download our first Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) report.

If you have any questions about how to start an organic program in your business, you can directly contact Rubicon's circular solutions team at circlesolutions@rubicon.com, or call our sales team at (844) 479-1507.

Ryan Cooper is Rubicon's waste transfer manager and head of organic recycling. To stay ahead of the new global partnerships and cooperation announced by Rubicon, be sure to follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, or contact us immediately.

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