September 20, 2023
On September 7th, 2023, the community, local officials, and the media gathered in Longview, Washington for the groundbreaking of Divert’s new Integrated Diversion & Energy Facility. This state-of-the-art facility will revolutionize how wasted food is handled in the region and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, marking a significant milestone in the fight against wasted food and climate change in the Pacific Northwest. The Longview facility will process up to 100,000 tons of wasted food from Washington and Oregon each year and transform it into carbon-negative renewable energy.
Divert CEO and Co-Founder, Ryan Begin, set the stage by emphasizing the company’s mission to Protect the Value of Food™. He highlighted Divert’s leadership and commitment to sustainability and innovation in wasted food management.
Washington State Representative Beth Doglio spoke excitedly about the project and the employment opportunities it will open up in Longview. “That is a huge win for Southwest Washington families,” she remarked.
Representative Doglio also commented on the importance of public-private partnerships to effectively implement the food waste legislation that she was instrumental in passing.
Mayor MaryAlice Wallis welcomed Divert to the Longview community with open arms. She expressed the community’s excitement about the partnership with Divert and the potential for a prosperous, sustainable future.
“Divert is just the kind of company that R.A. Long – 100 years ago – envisioned would come to Longview, plant its seeds, establish strong roots and thrive for years to come.”
Caitlin Tessin, Vice President of Strategy and Market Innovation at Enbridge, stated that Divert and Enbridge represent a powerful example of how industry leaders can collaborate to drive change. The companies are together expecting to invest nearly $100 million into the Longview project and the local economy.
Referencing Enbridge’s $1 billion infrastructure agreement with Divert, Tessin stated that Enbridge’s goal is to help “replicate this facility and all of the benefits that come along with that, across the United States.”
Ilona Kerby, Executive Director of Lower Columbia CAP, outlined how Divert works with retailers to improve their food donation programs. She also kicked-off the community donation event by speaking about food insecurity locally.
“With well over 15% of families in Cowlitz County food insecure, I am looking forward to the positive impact that [Divert] will have on food insecurity through increasing food donations in our community.”
Everyone in attendance joined in the Divert-organized community donation event and assisted in packing food boxes to support the Lower Columbia CAP. Each box included essential groceries and a personal note from each participant.
A Divert groundbreaking tradition, these donation events are an opportunity to bring the community together, and to establish supportive relationships between the company, the community and food rescue organizations.
With ten facilities already operational across the United States, and with the Longview, WA, and Turlock, CA projects underway, Divert is on track to establish a footprint within 100 miles of 80% of the U.S. population by 2031. As Divert expands across the United States, the vision of a wasted-food-free world draws closer to reality, one innovative facility at a time.