Encina Wastewater Launches Program to Turn Food Waste into Energy

Encina Wastewater Authority and Waste Management in North County announced Monday the launch of a 90-day co-digestion pilot aimed at turning food waste into renewable energy.

The program, known as CORe, will recycles pre- and post-consumer food wastes into an organic slurry that can be used as a high-quality organic feedstock for co-digestion in municipal anaerobic digesters.

“We’re excited with the potential positive impact this public-private collaboration can have to address food waste in the region,” said Scott McClelland, assistant general manager for Encina Wastewater Authority.

During the pilot period, Waste Management will transport organic slurry from Orange to the Encina Wastewater Authority plant in Carlsbad. There, the organic slurry will be added into an isolated digester to compare methane production of that digester with others on site.

“Our goal is to offer a viable green solution for diverting food waste from local landfills that aligns with our mission to maximize resource value,” said Ken Ryan, senior district manager of Waste Management in North County. “Utilizing Encina Wastewater Authority’s existing infrastructure and Waste Management’s innovative technologies can help shape the future of food waste diversion in San Diego County.”

Waste Management’s CORe process was first used in Orange County in 2010 and was created in response to the growing need for additional food waste recycling solutions and to reduce the amount of food waste going into landfills. Since then, CORe has expanded and is now being used in New York and Boston.


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