Why Zero Waste

A Zero Waste Circular Economy Demands
100% Carbon Management


By Erik Cutter, Managing Director Alegría Fresh and Jan Allen, President Impact Bioenergy

The leading protagonist of zero waste is just that, measurable and meaningful zero waste. To become zero waste, we must rethink how we manage carbon at every step, including carbon capture and repurpose. Some call it “cradle to cradle”.  Since it’s currently less expensive to simply send waste to landfills, most companies still send their organic waste (carbon) to landfills and do not use it to create added value and new renewable resources.


Carbon Drawdown
Carbon capture and repurpose constitutes a mix of technologies with the goal of collecting carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases so they do not escape into the atmosphere and contribute to global warming. To realistically affect climate change, we need to do more than reduce carbon waste, we need to immediately begin capturing more carbon than we release in a drawdown scenario. We can only affect climate change if we reduce the legacy load of carbon that already exists in the atmosphere. Carbon is food for the diverse biology in soil and that’s exactly where we need to put it back. By approaching waste and asking, “how can we capture wasted resources so they can be made valuable again?”, we can reverse the linear systemic extraction of resources in agriculture and begin to mitigate the carbon released into our atmosphere reducing the effects of climate change.


Strategic Carbon Alliance – “Food to Fuel”
Alegría Fresh and Impact Bioenergy have launched the Strategic Carbon Alliance to showcase our compelling circular carbon management solutions and to create greater awareness of the other companies who are pioneering carbon capture and repurpose. In January, 2021, Alegría Fresh and Impact Bioenergy completed the first fully operational “Food To Fuel” production prototype on Vashon Island, WA that demonstrates circular carbon management from organic food waste to healing food and energy production. This is no longer a vision, it is a working solution that is mobile and infinitely scalable.


RegenOrganic Food Production – Waste Food to Fresh Food
Regenerative agriculture places its highest priority on soil health, followed by farmworker rights and responsible animal stewardship. If we understand how Nature manages carbon in its zero waste cycle, then we create a circular economy in which Human Health = Environmental Health = Planetary Health. The regenerative soil health approach is the use of cover crops, rotational grazing and other regenerative techniques that protect the microbial networks in soil to provide plants and humans with resilience and adaptability. Healthy soil is the foundation of optimized plant health, nutrient density and human health.

See www.AlegriaFresh.com and www.AlegriaLivingSoil.com


Circular Zero Waste, RegenOrganic, Carbon Negative Food/Energy Production System


Vashon Bioenergy – “Waste to Energy” Metrics
The Vashon Bioenergy plant on Vashon Island, WA can digest 8,000 pounds of organic waste per day and produce 950 gallons of organic probiotic liquid plant food per day from waste organics that would normally be sent to a landfill. The resulting “probiotic plant food” is diluted with water at a 3:1 ratio provides the following:


1) 3,800 gallons of ready-made plant food each day; 
2) 3,800 gallons provides liquid “probiotic fertilizer” for 3,800 4’x8’ SoxxBoxxes;
3) This is equivalent to 5.7 acres of high-density RegenOrganic food production in Alegría’s SoxxBoxx Gro System. www.SoxxBoxx.com;

4) In addition, the Vashon anaerobic digester “AD” provides 90 gallons each day of equivalent gasoline in the form of RNG, which can be used to fuel RNG vehicles, create heat and/or electricity for use in the greenhouse that is producing the food.


Alegría Farmacy – RegenOrganic Food Production – Zero Waste, Carbon Negative, Mobile and Scalable
In the Alegría Farmacy, using romaine lettuce as an example, 3,800 SoxxBoxxes can produce 1.8 million heads of ultra nutrient-dense lettuce annually. We use the probiotic plant food from the AD without needing an outside fertilizer source. The methane produced from the AD provides heat/electricity/biofuel options that can be used for the greenhouses, off-grid power requirements and fueling RNG vehicles. The solar PV arrays with advanced battery storage provide the rest of the renewable energy required to drive the entire system on alternative, non-fossil fuel energy.