Thesis

Food waste liquefier Orca green

Daily Food Waste is a recurrent issue across many industries, in specific Universities, Colleges, Schools, restaurants and food service organizations. These establishments have continuously explored the ability to recycle their DFW as a sustainable means to transform eatable-organic food into a reusable effluent, preventing it from entering into the landfills. Thus, decreasing the carbon footprint and reducing the costs of its disposal. Loyola Marymount University in affiliation with Sodexo purchased the ORCA Unit, the ORCA machine is a food liquefier. It transforms food waste into water effluent; it is then released into the sewer system. The forward-looking statements from the "ORCA Totally Green Company" are that "the end result is a nutrient-rich water effluent that can be reused for irrigation, or it can be disposed of into the sewerage". The main purpose of the study was to examine the chemical and biological components in this effluent derived from the "ORCA Totally Green" food reduction system; investigated whether this effluent would be presumed safe for humans and plants. Secondary intention of the study was to identify if the effluent benefits LMU garden campus as a fertilizer, as the company has claimed. The design of study was experimental; a variety of tests such as BOD, Oil and Grease, Total Solids, Nitrate, Total Phosphates, Total coliform, and E.coli were performed on the chemical, physical and biological water quality of ORCA effluent samples, the results were then compared to the values of a typical domestic raw sewage. The Microbiological tests focused on determining concentrations of the fecal indicator bacteria including total Coliforms, E. Coli, Enterococci, followed by species' identification of the cultured-isolates determined that potential pathogenic strains were present. The discoveries included high levels of fecal indicator bacteria, mainly total Coliforms and Enterococci. The preliminary data indicated that there was a potential for the opportunistic human pathogen(s), one as such was Klebsiella Pneumonia. The study concludes that although ORCA effluent contains a high nutrient value, bacterial data indicated potential human health concerns. Therefore, ORCA effluent belongs in the sewer and should not be used around Loyola Marymount University Campus on plants. This project will be applicable to all colleges and universities. The final results from the study will be of interest to Dining Services professionals, recycling coordinators, compost coordinators, sustainability coordinators, and environmental scientists.

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