Wastewater treatment plant to turn post-consumer food waste into energy
SAN FRANCISCO, CA, July 14, 2009 -- With help from a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant, the East Bay Municipal Utility District is pioneering a method of generating renewable energy using food scraps...
• Recent San Francisco composting law will require new ways to process food scraps
SAN FRANCISCO, CA, July 14, 2009 -- With help from a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant, the East Bay Municipal Utility District is pioneering a method of generating renewable energy using food scraps. EBMUD takes food waste from San Francisco and Contra Costa County restaurants and commercial food processors and uses them to produce green renewable energy through anaerobic digestion. The innovative approach decreases food waste sent to landfills and reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
|Through anaerobic digestion, bacteria can digest the food waste to produce methane, a valuable energy source when captured. Photo: US EPA.|
- In the United States, more than 30 million tons of food waste are sent to landfills annually.
- Food waste is the second largest category of municipal solid waste in the United States, accounting for 18 percent of the waste stream.
- In the United States, less than three percent of food waste is diverted from landfills.
- If 50 percent of food waste in the United States was anaerobically digested, enough electricity would be generated to power approximately 2.5 million homes for a year.
- Landfills are the second largest source of human-caused methane in the United States, and food waste contributes significantly to landfill methane production.