Bakery unveils system to recycle wastewater

FREDERICK, Md. — Bimbo Bakeries USA recently unveiled its latest digester system at the Thomas’ English Muffin bakery in Frederick.

The state-of-the-art anaerobic digester system treats wastewater. It will eventually convert the residual biogas produced by the system into a renewable energy stream, according to a news release from the company.

Bimbo Bakeries USA teamed with Environmental Management Group International to design and install the system, which removes 300 pounds of waste material per day. It uses the highest achievable organic loading rates in the industry, relative to its small footprint, and is fully automated, allowing for remote monitoring and operation, the company reported.

The system’s technology is capable of handling spikes in waste stream strength and volume, yet maintains low energy usage and operating and maintenance costs compared to conventional treatment systems.

“We are thrilled about the many environmental benefits provided by the new digester,” Leslie Adebayo, corporate sustainability manager at Bimbo Bakeries USA, said in a news release. “Generating renewable energy from Frederick allows us to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and fossil fuels. We hope it serves as a positive example of our commitment to the environment among our peers, associates, customers and consumers.”

In 2014, Bimbo Bakeries USA’s Frederick bakery became the first commercial bakery to meet the Energy Star Challenge for Industry. It selected EMG’s Anaerobic Fluidized Bed Digester technology for its Frederick bakery because of its track record in treating wastewater for other food and beverage companies, including systems at two additional Bimbo Bakeries USA bakeries.

“Bimbo Bakeries USA is proud to be a part of Grupo Bimbo, an environmental sustainability leader since its beginning more than 70 years ago,” said Chris Wolfe, director, environmental and sustainability at Bimbo Bakeries USA. “We are committed to reducing our environmental footprint in the United States and look for every opportunity to do so.”