Turning food waste into energy

Monday, 08 October 2018
Too much food is being thrown away today: from our own kitchens, from restaurant kitchens and at events. More than 30% of food produced for the city of Amsterdam is wasted daily. Thanks to ‘The Waste Transformer’ the Westergasfabriek in Amsterdam can now transform the food remnants produced on site into something valuable. This innovative bio-digester locally transforms organic waste into sustainable energy. The Westergasfabriek is the first place in the Netherlands to use The Waste Transformer.

Until 1967, coal was produced at the Westergasfabriek for Amsterdam’s municipal lighting. Nowadays, this is a place where you can recharge your batteries in a different way: numerous prominent events and festivals are held in this beautiful city park with its renovated buildings. The site also houses various creative companies, restaurants and pubs, as well as a cinema and even a brewery. All of them attract lots of visitors.

Energy from waste

However, all this conviviality also has a flip side: waste. A problem for which The Waste Transformer has found a solution. By fermenting food remnants obtained from restaurants, companies and events on the site, they produce Westergasfabriek energy, which can be used to light the lamps in Dutch homes! Not only that, it is produced far more sustainably than conventional energy.The transformer at the Westergasfabriek can treat up to 600kg a day of food waste. This amount of food waste can produce up to 240 kWh of green energy per day. The green energy generated by The Waste Transformer at the Westergasfabriek is made available to a Vandebron, a marketplace where sustainable energy sources can sell their good energy for use by Dutch households.

Limited transport

In addition to the production of energy there are several other advantages to The Waste Transformer. By separating the organic waste and processing it on-site, the flow as well as the transport of energy from the site are limited to a considerable extent. This results in a notable decrease in carbon dioxide emissions. What’s more, all of these food remnants also help the park to flourish: nutrients removed from the waste serve as a sustainable soil improver. The Waste Transformer also help to bring awareness to waste and thus help the entrepreneurs and events at Westergasfabriek to reduce their streams whilst not feeling guilty with what they throw away.