Did you know that the leftover foods you leave on your plate at some first class resorts here in Phoenix are saved to help feed pigs? No? Well, one company has taken “going green” to a new level, with not just recycling plastic bottles and cardboard, but going one step further to salvaging recyclable food scraps.
Global Green Integrators (GGI), a local business, is on the prowl to help reduce landfill space and reduce their carbon footprint; and they’ve come up with a unique way to do it.
The company uses “extreme recycling” techniques, with hopes of minimizing food scraps from convention centers, events, resorts and large employers.
Food scraps are sorted out and donated to Arizona pig farms, who then use it as animal feed. The scraps that cannot be used can then be composted, which in turn decreases the amount of waste that would ultimately be dumped into a landfill.
GGI can compost up to five tons a day. Once the food scraps are sorted to remove meat and protein, it’s then given to non-commercial pig farmers, who then feed it to their livestock.
The idea of using pigs as a way to reduce food waste came to Lisa Pérez, founder of GGI, in 2009, while working at the NBA All-Star event. She was asked what her company did with food scraps that were obtained at these events. This got Pérez thinking.
Pérez and her business partner, Chris Garcia, started brainstorming and came up with the idea that local pig farmers might possibly want their help. They did, and today, GGI assists four pig farmers in the valley with donating food scraps, according to Pérez.
GGI has previously contracted with big-name businesses and events, including the NBA All-Star events in downtown Phoenix, FireSky Resort and conventions at the Chase Field, providing ways to also recycle paper, plastic, cardboard, aluminum, glass and organic material.
“Our goal is to be everybody’s forethought for anyone that has a recycling idea,” Pérez says. “I want them to think of us.”
This local business simply charges clients a fee to remove the recyclable waste, takes everything that can be either recycled or composted, and then provides the recyclables to companies that can reuse the materials.
With a zero-landfill mantra, Pérez’s company has certainly come a long way from when they first started off shredding paper and recycling electronic media.
“We’re innovative,” says Pérez. “We come up with new ideas on how to recycle and reuse. Nobody has ever done what we are currently doing. We want to show you how you are saving the planet.”