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Stop & Shop Green Energy Facility In Mass. Gets Design-Build Award

Green energy digester, Stop & Shop
Unusable food waste and packaging is loaded into the hopper to start the digestion process.

Stop & Shop’s new green energy facility in Freetown, Massachusetts, which converts food waste into clean energy, received an honorable mention at the 2018 New England Design-Build Awards.

Each year, the Design-Build Institute of America’s New England chapter recognizes regional projects that demonstrate excellence in effectively integrating design and construction services to produce “high-value outcomes for the owners.”

To meet its goal of achieving zero waste by 2020, Stop & Shop decided to build an anaerobic digester at its distribution facility to dispose of unusable food waste (waste that is unsuitable for donation). The digester breaks down food waste within 24 hours into biogas, a green-energy source which then powers the adjacent distribution center. Leftover organic material is recycled into fertilizer and compost.

Unlike digesters that process a material that is already liquefied, Stop & Shop’s had to be able to handle packaging materials as well as food. This was accomplished through the efforts of Stop & Shop, design-build firm Dennis Group and Divert, the operator of the digester. The digester went from concept to completion in less than 18 months.

“We collectively are very proud of this project,” says Dennis Group Project Manager Mary Frances Stotler. “Our core team, consisting of Stop & Shop, Dennis Group and Divert members, was together from the initial planning stages all the way through commissioning the facility. Our success showcases how utilizing design-build methodology often yields exceptional outcomes.”

Celebrating its 30th anniversary, Dennis Group is the largest food design firm in the U.S. The company recently bolstered its expansion efforts with the opening of a new office in São Paulo, Brazil, and Porto, Portugal, which caters to the growing South American and European markets.

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