The first phase of the facility at the South Area Transfer Station in Sacramento, Calif., is expected to be completed this summer.
The facility will be expanded in 2013 to process 100 tons of waste per day, making it the largest commercial-scale, high solids anaerobic digestion system in the United States, CWP said. This also will be California’s first AD-based renewable natural gas fueling station.
Once completed, the organic waste recycling center at South Area Transfer Station System will divert nearly 37,000 tons of waste from landfills each year. The recycling center also will replace 1 million gallons of diesel with renewable natural gas per year, CWP said.
The food waste will be collected by Atlas Disposal from area food processing companies, restaurants and supermarkets. The digestion system will produce natural gas, which will be used to fuel the Altas’ clean-fuel fleet as well as vehicles from area jurisdictions and agencies.
Natural gas produced from the initial 25-ton per day operation would fuel the equivalent of 80 school buses for one year, said CWP, a startup that launched in 2009.
CWP’s organic recycling center is based on anaerobic digestion technology developed University of California Davis to convert food waste, agricultural residue and other organic waste into renewable energy, fertilizer and soil enhancements (see graphic).
CWP opened in April a commercial-scale high solids AD system at American River Packaging’s Sacramento facility. That facility will convert 7.5 tons of food waste from Campbell Soup Co. and other regional food producers along with 0.5 tons of unrecyclable corrugated material from ARP into natural gas. The natural gas will be used to generate about 1,300 kilowatt hours of renewable electricity per day, supplying 37 percent of ARP’s electricity needs.
Campbell Soup Co., which released its sustainability report in May, also has cut its normalized water use by 3.8 percent to 8.72 cubic meters per metric ton of food produced from 2010 to 2011.