Lafayette, California based organic waste to energy specialist, Zero Waste Energy Development Company (ZWEDC), is set to open its 90,000 ton (81,600 tonne) per year Dry Fermentation Anaerobic Digestion (AD) food waste facility in San Jose - the first large-scale commercial facility of its kind in the U.S.
The company said that the facility will process food scraps, yard waste and other compostable materials from San Jose businesses, converting them into renewable energy and compost.
ZWEDC explained that with organics comprising the largest portion of materials still landfilled, San Jose committed to developing a facility capable of processing and recovering these valuable materials.
The facility is part of the City's transformation of its commercial solid waste management system which began in July 2012 when San Jose adopted a dry/wet collection system for businesses.
According to ZWEDC, since its implementation the system has more than tripled the commercial recycling rate to over 70%, helping the San Jose commercial solid waste management system become recognised as the national model.
The company added that while it is already composing food waste, the new facility will augment the system with advanced processing and recovery of the energy value of the food waste stream.
Phase I of the plant, which the company claimed is the largest of its kind in the world, will process up to 90,000 tons per year of organic waste, generating approximately 1.6 MW of renewable power.
The fully-enclosed and ventilated facility includes 16 anaerobic digesters plus four in-vessel composting tunnels.
ZWEDC said that the development of the facility offered an opportunity for collaboration between itself, the City of San Jose and CalRecycle.
The site was a City-owned unclosed landfill, in which the company said that it invested $11.8 million to close and develop infrastructure on the site as pre-payment for its 30-year lease.
The project will now help to move San Jose closer to achieving its goal of zero waste to landfill by 2022.
"This represents another step forward in our city's efforts to divert 100% of our waste from landfills and receive all of our energy from clean, renewable resources,” commented San Jose Mayor. Chuck Reed.
A KPIX news report on the new facility can be viewed below.
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