A US organic waste recycling centre will provide food processors with an alternative to current waste disposal methods by collecting and converting it into renewable gas.
The expansion of Clean World Partners and Atlas Disposal Industries organic waste recycling centre will be completed later this year and will initially convert 25 tonnes of food waste per day into renewable gas.
The recycling centre will convert the waste into renewable energy, fertilizer and soil enhancements and could eventually divert almost 37,000 tons of waste annually from landfill.
Construction on the upgrade has begun and the site is anticipated to start accepting materials in late July or August and generating fuels later in the year.
A US$6m grant from the California Energy Commission (CEC) to expand the south area transfer station will make it the largest commercial-scale, high solids anaerobic digestion (AD) system in the US.
The food waste will be collected by Atlas Disposal from sources including food processing companies and is expected to start operations this summer.
The majority of food considered waste by food processors currently either goes to landfill or back to animal farms for feed.
The facility will be expanded to process 100 tonnes of waste per day by 2013.
Atlas collect pre-consumer food waste including fruits and vegetables and post-consumer waste containing fiber and proteins using carts, front load bins, roll off containers and end dump trailers.
A spokesperson said: “It provides processors with an alternative use for the waste that will generate electricity, compressed natural gas that will fuel collection fleets and perhaps also transportation fleets associated with processors transportation needs.
“Often the waste taken at animal farms is taken at no cost. Landfilling waste in the Sacramento region is still very low cost but when the tip fee and the transportation costs associated with its disposal are considered together, the digestion of the waste is more cost effective.”
Benefits include power generation, renewable fuels running cleaner meaning better for air quality and greenhouse gas reduction, they added.
Diesel and electricity savings
It will save one million gallons of diesel per year with renewable natural gas and two million kilowatt hours of electricity per year when completed, the companies claim.
Also being developed is a digestion-based renewable natural gas fueling station which will be used to fuel Atlas’ clean-fuel vehicles.
"We are dedicated to providing our customers with sustainability based solutions for their businesses that are cost effective,” said Dave Sikich, CEO Atlas Disposal Industries.
“The ability to take what was once considered a waste and to turn it into a resource is another way Atlas sets itself apart from traditional waste management companies."