Recycling Product News Logo

​Power Knot biodigester contributing to Fujitsu bottom line

Onsite aerobic biodigestion the solution for corporate campus food waste management

power knot aerobic biodigester in Fujitsu kitchen

Fujitsu America Inc., the U.S. headquarters of the global information and communication technology company, is located in Silicon Valley, just north of San Jose, California. The park-like campus of 450,000 square feet of office space in seven buildings is set on 33 acres with 800 trees dotted across the landscape. It's an unusually green and serene space in an otherwise very busy region. 

Fujitsu as a company has a long-standing commitment to minimizing its environmental impact through adoption of energy-saving measures - long before they were popular in corporate America. More recently, the campus transitioned to 100 percent renewable energy, switched to LED lighting where possible, and eliminated disposable plastics from its cafeteria. 

According to Fujitsu environmental, health, safety & security services specialist Robert Curtis, food waste has been a particularly challenging problem. 

"We have a busy kitchen that preps, cooks and serves food for our employee cafeteria. Monday through Friday, we tipped at least 50 pounds of food waste per day into our mixed trash dumpster," explains Curtis. "That's a messy and smelly problem — not to mention a target for pests and rodents — so that dumpster was emptied by our local trash company every day." 

He says the increasing cost of trash pickup and the environmental impact of waste food were major concerns for Fujitsu. Additionally, stringent statewide and local regulations were looming. The new laws mandated that businesses recycle all their organic waste by separating it from other waste streams and diverting it to local composting facilities. It was time for Fujitsu to take action.

"We considered various methods to convert our waste food into compost for use onsite, but these all required constant tending to and considerable manual effort. This led is to evaluate machines capable of recycling all the food waste in the kitchen itself, which would reduce labour costs, eliminate collection costs and enable us to comply with the law," said Curtis.

After seeing the Power Knot LFC biodigester at a trade show, Curtis realized it represented the best solution as it delivered both environmental and economic benefits by processing the company's organic waste onsite and preventing it from being mixed with other waste.

"We realized that the Power Knot LFC biodigester could transform our approach to food waste," he explained. "Not only is it more environmentally sound than sending our food waste to the landfill, it ‘pencils out' financially. Our initial calculations predicted a positive ROI within 18 months by reducing our trash pickup from five to three days per week," said Curtis. "In fact, looking back, it probably paid for itself even sooner because trash pick-up rates went up soon after we installed it - and they've continued to increase since then."

Fujitsu took delivery of the Power Knot LFC-70 biodigester in 2011 and installed it in the kitchen of the company's Silicon Valley campus onsite cafeteria. The LFC biodigester uses a mix of natural microbes and enzymes to aerobically convert biodegradable food waste into grey water that drains into municipal waste lines. The control panel allows operators to control rotation times and amount of water used, as well as putting the machine into a manual mode to view any objects that should not be in the machine. The panel also indicates the drum temperature which is important for understanding optimum digestion.

Since its installation, Fujitsu says their conservative estimates are that is has reliably and quietly processed 200,000 pounds of food waste from the kitchen. But its contribution to the environment has been much greater, with 350 tonnes of carbon dioxide offset through onsite recycling of food waste at Fujitsu's campus.

Company info

47613 Warm Springs Blvd
Fremont, CA
US, 94539-7470


Read more

More from Organics Recycling

Sponsored Brought to you by: Machinex Logo

Discover the main features of a reliable & efficient baler

Single-Ram and II-Ram High-Capacity Balers

At Machinex, we've been designing sorting systems for over 35 years, so we know how essential it is for MRF operators to have a baler they can trust and not worry about its operational reliability. This is why we design and manufacture reliable single-ram and II-ram high-capacity balers to specifically help optimize their operations.

 Watch the video of our expert who presents the main features of Machinex balers delivering these important benefits:

  • Easy & accessible maintenance
  • Reduced maintenance & bale handling costs
  • Energy savings
  • Optimal bale density
Learn more
Sponsored Brought to you by: Komptech Americas LLC. Logo

How to streamline C&D waste processing to increase profitability

For C&D recyclers, waste haulers, demolition contractors and landfills, there is a growing opportunity to profit from rethinking processes. Although every operation is different, by streamlining the front end of the C&D operation processes with purpose-built technologies, recyclers can tap into new end markets, accommodate higher material volumes, stay ahead of regulatory restrictions, increase recovery rates and add commodity revenue, while decreasing labor and other costs.

Download the new eBook to learn about:

  • Finding opportunities in the alternative to landfilling C&D
  • How facilities can increase their profits from C&D
  • Using the right C&D processing technology in the right locations
Learn more

Get our newsletter

Subscribe to our free magazine

Get Our Magazine

Paper or Digital delivered monthly to you

Subscribe or Renew Learn more

Get our newsletter