The Pike Place Market Preservation and Development Authority (PDA) announced today a major next step in its commitment to sustainable practices, an initiative to recycle landfill-bound food scraps into organic liquid fertilizer developed by WISErg, a biotech company located in Redmond, WA. This step is part of a larger initiative within Pike Place Market to create a sustainable public market for future generations.
The installation of the WISErg Harvester unit begins Wednesday, March 16 at 7 p.m. and will continue through March 23. Training and demonstrations are scheduled for Market vendors the week of March 28-April 1.
The Harvester will be located on the west side of Pike Place between Pike and Pine Streets and will process food scraps from 19 food vendors, including: Chinese Cuisine, Choice Produce, City Fish Co., DeLaurenti Specialty Food and Wine, Don & Joe’s Meats, Emmett Watson's Oyster Bar, Frank’s Quality Produce, Juice Emporium, Le Panier, Lina's Produce, Mama Angelina’s Produce, Manzo Brothers Produce, Market Grill, Mee Sum Pastry, Michou Deli, Pike Place Fish, Pure Food Fish, Sea Breeze Farm and Sosio’s Produce.
The installment of the Harvester is made possible through a partnership with Seattle Public Utilities, which will utilize data collected in quarterly reports on the sources and environmental profile of food scraps. The closed tank will divert organics from the Market's waste stream, reducing food waste tonnage and CO2-equivalent emissions and provide savings on landfill and transportation costs.
"The PDA Council, our vendors and staff are really excited about this opportunity to reduce our environmental footprint and further our mission to create a sustainable market for future generations," Franz-Knight said. "From reducing our landfill waste with an ice melting station and changing thousands of incandescent light bulbs with more efficient LED bulbs, to the installment of a WISErg Harvester, we are committed to creating a more sustainable Pike Place Market."
"Pike Place Market is a sustainability leader and we're proud that they've selected the Harvester," said Larry LeSueur, CEO, WISErg. "We're excited to work with Pike Place Market and Seattle Public Utilities to understand the causes of wasted food and convert those nutrients into a product that will deliver healthy foods to the Market."
How it works: The Harvester processes food scraps into a nutrient rich solution. The solution is stabilized in a fully enclosed, odor free tank. After being processed in the Harvester, the materials are transferred to a nearby WISErg facility, where they are converted into WISErganic Liquid Fertilizer.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in 2013 more than 37 million tons of food waste was generated, with only five percent diverted from landfills and incinerators for composting. The EPA estimates that more food reaches landfills and incinerators than any other single material in our everyday trash, constituting 21 percent of discarded municipal solid waste.