A California city gears up for a biogas production project that will convert food waste from schools and businesses into clean gas for vehicles.
Removing food from solid waste streams to preserve landfill space is nothing new, but one utility in California has plans to turn that waste into a big cost benefit.
In a few years, if plans in Manteca bear fruit, city trucks will be essentially running on food — more specifically, methane generated from anaerobic digestion of food waste.
The project is the result of two sets of state regulations. One is the standard to reduce food waste entering landfills. The other is the set of air pollution rules from the California Air Resources Board that provide an incentive to leave diesel engines behind in the quest for cleaner air.
“Solid waste and wastewater are now partners in this project, and we are working on the facilities we’ll need,” says Heather Grove, wastewater systems superintendent. The plan is to construct two receiving stations, one for the food slurry and another for fats, oils and grease. There will be a new control building, two new digesters, gas compressors and fueling stations. The estimated cost for the projects, including the separator, is $29 million.”