It takes a massive amount of resources to grow food, and 40% of what we produce ends up in a landfill. Industrial/Organic is solving this growing waste problem while recovering the water, energy, and nutrients present in food we throw away.
Through a weeklong process, food waste is rapidly stabilized and converted to high-value resources that can be further upcycled into liquid and solid fertilizers, animal feed, organic chemicals, or clean energy.
A distributed network of micro-facilities utilizes existing industrial spaces, providing a faster and cheaper alternative to other organic waste solutions, while contributing to the revitalization of post-industrial areas.
I/O is planning to open our first commercial scale facility this summer to serve the New York metro area. As more cities and states across the country mandate organic waste recycling, this unique and proprietary approach puts us on the front lines of growing market demand.
No methane is generated during this process
Pops-up quickly without the red tape of construction
Developed for urban and suburban areas
INFRASTRUCTURE AS A SERVICE
Providing public and private waste haulers an outlet for source-separated organics with more convenience that saves them costs on transport, while we own and operate the facilities
THE OPPOSITE OF DISRUPTION
We’re OCD about odor. A safer, cleaner alternative that doesn’t produce methane serves the community without being a burden. A smaller throughput per facility eases the truck traffic that affects public health and enjoyment of living spaces.
REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE
Smaller, distributed facilities
Our model of distributed micro-facilities can co-exist in populated areas and make waste disposal more efficient
- Other waste solutions need lots of space and wide open areas, contributing to the high cost of waste disposal in cities
- Six times faster than anaerobic digestion + composting, allows for higher throughput in smaller spaces
Making use of existing industrial spaces
- Scale faster, without the capital intensity of other solutions
- Bypass the red tape of construction and land use
Cheaper to operate
- An indoor, modular design can pop up in a raw space without many changes needed
- Optimized for minimal energy use
PEOPLE, PROFIT, PLANET
Industrial/Organic is among a new breed of startups with social impact baked into our bottom-line, contributing to growth rather than in lieu of it
Estimates suggest that global food production will need to increase 60% by 2050 to meet population demand
14.8m acres of new farmland will be needed every year, yet double that is being lost annually to soil erosion. If this trend continues, the world has 60 more years of crop growth remaining.
Soil is lost at 10-40x the rate it can be naturally replenished due to farming methods that strip the soil of carbon, making it less robust and weaker in nutrients
The cost of public and environmental health issues related to soil erosion caused by conventional modern agriculture exceeds $45 billion annually.
70% of the topsoil in the world, the layer allowing plants to grow, is gone due to soil erosion
Ploughing and chemical fertilizers disrupt the soil's structure and microbiome, contributing to soil erosion. Once soil is eroded, it's a negative feedback loop affecting water, carbon, and nutrient retention.
40% of the world's population is currently experiencing water scarcity, and 2/3 of the world’s population could experience water-stressed conditions by 2025
Irrigation for agriculture demands 70% of global water withdrawals. The water used to produce a day’s worth of food for one person is 10x the recommended amount for drinking. Meanwhile, inside the food wasted every year is 45 trillion gallons of water, which represents a quarter of what's used for agriculture.
When soil is unable to retain carbon, a foundation of soil fertility, it is released into the atmosphere
Eroded soils are responsible for releasing up to 10 billion tons of CO2 into the atmosphere. Loss of soil carbon hinders efforts to limit global temperature rises and avoid increased floods, droughts and other severe weather impacts.
If it were a country, food waste would be the third-largest greenhouse gas emitter behind China and the United States
As of 2011, one third of global food production is lost or wasted through the distribution chain. Food waste is the single largest component of landfills, and it’s pretty expensive transport due to its weight. Cities from Boise to NYC are seeking solutions to divert food waste from landfills, for both economic and environmental reasons.
Air and water pollution from an unsustainable food system is affecting public health
Food decomposing in landfills and mixing with other materials, like heavy metals, is a major contributor to both methane emissions and groundwater pollution.
More than half of humanity currently lives in cities, and every second across the globe, urban populations grow by 2 people
Waste is increasing in urban areas even faster than the growth of the population. Global urban populations are projected to increase by nearly 3 billion people by 2050.
Our approach closes several crucial loops necessary to support public health, environmental resilience, and economic growth.
We reclaim the resources spent on food that is wasted, and reuse them to create a more sustainable system for future generations. Waste is a resource that can be recaptured with an innovative approach that moves away from the industry norms of yesterday.
The mission of Industrial/Organic is to recover the resources spent on food that is wasted, and reuse them to create a more sustainable system for food and other consumer goods.
Food waste is 75% moisture, which we draw out in a multi-step process following a rapid biological digestion that sterilizes and preserves organic matter. This byproduct is first used for energy generation and then cleaned for reuse. We see a future where this reclaimed water is substituted for agricultural and industrial use.
The leftover solids are processed into an organic fertilizer that is microbially active, providing nutrients, probiotics and organic matter to soils. Microbes have formed mutually beneficial associations with plants, improving their ability to absorb nutrients and resist drought, disease and pests.