More green points for the hippie-tacular dessert outfit Ben & Jerry’s: A factory in Hellendoorn, Holland, is now successfully using the waste products of its ice cream-making process to make more ice cream. A huge biodigester, affectionately known as “the Chunkinator,” combines excess milk, syrup, wastewater, and bits of fruit with billions of microbes. The microbes eat the sweet and creamy leftovers and convert them to biogas, cutting down on the facility’s heat and energy costs.
Chunkinator construction and testing started in 2010 and now the energy-saving process is in full swing, with a reported 16 million pints of ice cream created in the past year — all thanks to the byproducts of their predecessors. So far, the factory has been able to use all of the wastewater it produces and about half of its waste ice cream.
Ben & Jerry’s products are now GMO-free, too, and while Chunky Monkey and Cherry Garcia don’t exactly glow in the dark or change colors as you eat them (yet!), ice cream-fueled ice cream sounds pretty darn magical. And if the Chunkinator gets adopted company-wide, maybe it’ll provide fresh inspiration for new flavors. Paradoxes & Cream? OuroborOreos? Tautology Crunch? The mind boggles.