Far away from its stately rooms, spacious banquet facilities and first-class restaurant, The Blackwell Inn is home to technology that is helping the hotel contribute to a more sustainable future.

For the past five years, a hulking plastic tank connected to an industrial-sized food grinder has sat adjacent to the hotel’s loading docks. The 3,000-gallon tank and grinding systems is one of the first ever to be prototyped and installed in a U.S. hotel.

Once every three weeks, the slurry of wet, ground up food is pumped out of the tank and transported to Quasar Energy Group’s Anaerobic Digester and CNG (compressed natural gas) Fueling Station in Columbus, where, through a process called anaerobic digestion, the food waste is broken down into bio-gas and bio-fertilizer.

Thanks to the grinder, which was developed by the nationally known waste disposal company InSinkErator, food waste from Bistro 2110 — The Blackwell’s in-house restaurant — as well as its catering facility, is recycled in a number of ways.

This past February, for example, recycled food waste from The Blackwell produced enough natural gas to heat three homes for one month, enough electricity to power two homes for one month, and 909 pounds of nutrient-rich fertilizer. It also eliminated greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 10,445 automobile miles.

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A state-of-the-art food grinder and holding tank is helping The Blackwell turn foodscraps into renewable energy.

“This is a great way to turn waste that would have otherwise ended up in a landfill into something that is creating real value for customers throughout central Ohio,” said Eric Adelman, general manager of The Blackwell. “We’re proud to be at the forefront of this innovation and are always looking for ways to be environmentally friendly.”

The grinder is just one of many ways The Blackwell has incorporated sustainability into its daily operations.

The hotel, like many others, offers guests the options of re-using their towels and linens to save water. Recycling containers are located throughout the facility, and during its busy Mother’s Day and Easter brunches, the staff of Bistro 2110 helped achieve nearly 90 percent zero-waste for each event.

Sustainability is at the forefront of nearly every decision at The Blackwell, even as it undertakes a renovation. As beds are replaced, old ones that would have otherwise ended up in a landfill are being donated to a local furniture bank.

The emphasis on going green has even spread to the hotel’s fleet of transportation. Its Lincoln Town Car has since been replaced with a new Ford Fusion hybrid.