Food Scraps to Green Energy

  ♪♪   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 District – or 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?       ♪♪    

Comments 10

  • Wow! Excellent video which really gives a complete picture of an innovative technology! Very forward looking!

  • Cool, with the budget crisis looming and our dependence on foreign oil still painful we need every scrap of cheap energy we can get.

  • video is v. cool

  • If your apt building units include food waste disposers – aka garbage disposers – you're already connected to this service. Food scraps pulverized by disposer end up being processed into energy and fertilizer at EBMUD, without having to be collected/transported in trucks, with all the convenience of having it immediately disappear.

  • The thing is the EPA is paying them to create methane. So it's just creating the same problem. Proper composting, or aerobic composting produces no methane. Also, burning methane produces carbon dioxide, water, and just a little bit of carbon monoxide. These are the same things a car produces, yet the EPA rewards businesses for doing this, and chastises people for driving cars. Isn't that counter-intuitive?

  • You could just burn the trash instead of going through the whole convert to methane to get the energy

  • can this process be scaled down for home use to power a small appliance (lol maybe even itself) I would then use the soil in my garden.

  • Nice project.

  • I wish we can apply this in the Philippines

  • This is the best way to use food scraps and other biodegradable materials…  a new source of green, clean and affordable energy… awesome!

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