Waste to Energy
Food wastes and other organic materials that could be diverted make up 25% of trash sent to landfills. Several food waste audits recently conducted at Rochester General, Unity, and Riedman suggest that we could be diverting up to 705,925 lbs of food waste from landfills a year across our organization. When organic waste is sent to landfills, it breaks down into methane, which is 20 times more potent greenhouse gas than CO2. That means 1 lb of methane emitted is like putting 20 lbs of CO2 into the air. Rochester Regional began diverting organic waste from our Riedman Campus to an anaerobic digester just south of Rochester. Bacteria in the anaerobic digester break down organic waste into methane that is then combusted on-site to produce electricity. The process also produces a nutrient-rich slurry that is used in agricultural applications to help displace synthetic chemical fertilizers.
Community Supportive Agriculture
Rochester Regional is currently working with local organizations to offer Community Supportive Agriculture (CSA) food share drop-off locations across the organization. These CSA organizations partner with credentialed farmers and wholesalers that ensure the best quality local produce and sustainable food, adhering to the highest standards in our facilities and communities. Thus far, five food share locations were established at our facilities for employees to take part in.
Local Food Purchasing and Farmers Market
Rochester Regional actively supports purchases from local farms to support our local economy. Currently, we purchase produce from a number of local vendors, annually amounting to around 20% of the organization’s total spent on produce. Growers located in the Rochester area include: Bolton Farms, Bushart Farms, Case Brothers Clover Hill Farms, Deconick Farms, Eden Valley, Fisher Farms, Fowler, Jenkins Farm, Kreshers Farms, Red Jacket, Springwater Sprouts, Squash Blossom Farms, and White Farms. Additionally, Rochester Regional’s Riedman location holds weekly farmers markets to encourage employees to purchase more locally grown food. We are actively seeking to expand the program and start farmers markets at other facilities.