business news in context, analysis with attitude

The Seattle Times reports that PCC Natural Markets has unveiled what it calls "a new alternative for dealing with food waste at its Issaquah location.

"For the past two years, the local grocery co-op has been working with WISErg, a Washington startup developing a 'harvester' machine to convert food waste into liquid fertilizer. All nine PCC locations will carry the fertilizer, a brown liquid the consistency of water.

According to the story, "The WISErg harvester is made up of two large metal structures, the food-waste loading station and the processing unit. Employees of PCC dump organic materials into the loading system, where the material is weighed, ground up and transported into a silver structure resembling a silo.

"In the silo, nutrients and liquid are extracted from the organic matter. The resulting slurry ... is transported about every 10 days to WISErg's processor. There, it is broken down through anaerobic digestion, and goes through a chemical-stabilization process to create the liquid fertilizer.

"One of the formulations has been approved by the Washington State Department of Agriculture for use in organic farming. It starts at $8 for a 32-ounce container."
KC's View: