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  •   Most people know about putting bottles and cans to a higher use by recycling.

  •   But what about all those food scraps sent to the landfills every year?


  •   Food scraps disposed in landfills create methane, a greenhouse gas, and contribute to climate change.

  •   Instead tossing them in the trash, we can convert food scraps to energy.

  •   In Oakland California, the East Bay Municipal Utility Districtor East Bay MUD

  •   uses an innovative technique to collect the methane from food waste.

  •   A grant from EPA helped them to advance this technology, which made

  •   East Bay MUD the first wastewater treatment plant in the country to convert

  •   post-consumer food waste to energy using anaerobic digesters.

  •   Don Gray (Gabb), Senior Civil Engineer, East Bay MUD] There isn't a lot of experience doing this.

  •   In fact, no where else in the country is anyone doing this.

  •   The process begins when local restaurants separate food waste for disposal.

  •   At the East Bay MUD’s wastewater treatment plant, waste is broken down in large containers called anaerobic digesters.

  •   When you add food waste to a digester, the bacteria inside can decompose the food.

  •   The digester captures the biogas.

  •   The methane from biogas then powers the treatment plant.

  •   The food material remaining after the digestion process can be composted

  •   and used as a soil amendment to help grow your food.

  •   This anaerobic digestion process uses waste as a valuable commodity.

  •   It mitigates climate change from methane, and creates both energy and valuable soil amendments.

  •   Don Gray (Gabb), Senior Civil Engineer, East Bay MUD   This partnership with EBMUD and EPA Region 9 has not only benefitted our customers,

  •   but has also opened the door for food waste to be brought into any wastewater treatment plant anywhere in the country.


  •   Whoever thought that one day your food scraps could one day be powering your lights?


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