Rod Collins is a marketing consultant who represents lines of specialized
equipment, including a new line of commercial kitchen waste dehydrators.
Ensure that equipment is sized correctly. “It is common to find dish rooms where the warewashing equipment is undersized. This can happen either with the wrong model for a particular application or in the wrong sizing of tanks within a machine. Requirements vary: it's like asking ‘how big of a bucket do you need to wash your car?’ Is your car lightly soiled? Heavily soiled? Covered with salt and dirt? You will need bigger tanks if the job is consistently bigger.”
Pay attention to ventilation. “Research shows that ventilation is the third largest energy saving opportunity after water usage and the cook line. Operators need to understand that cfm ratings are measured in laboratory situations and are guides, not the be-all, end-all. Direct comparisons can be misleading in real life operating conditions.
“Go see a system in actual operation. Pull the filters. Look up the plenum. Ask how long since it's been cleaned, what the duty cycle is like, how often it needs cleaning. You want a system that is fairly maintenance free. UV and water wash systems have a higher first cost but can pay for themselves in a few years. After that, the savings are gravy.”
Closing the kitchen waste circle. “In some areas, disposers have been banned because of the impact they have on sewers and water reclamation. So what do you do with waste, especially if it has disposables mixed in? A pulper takes that mix and reduces its volume by 80 percent — that reduces a good part of the landfill volume, but not the weight.
“New technology can take that pulper output and reduce the volume by 90 percent again by using dehydration, which also reduces the weight. At that point, the output can be used as a sterile soil amenity for landscaping. In the future, we believe even haulers may invest in this kind of technology. Closing the waste circle like this is the next frontier in waste management.”