More Jobs, Less Pollution: CalRecycle Awards $24 Million in Grants to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Cap-and-trade dollars boost local economies with 21st Century infrastructure projects

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Media Contact: Lance Klug
(916) 371-6293 |lance.klug@calrecycle.ca.gov                                                                              FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

SACRAMENTO—As an integral part of the state’s far-reaching effort to slow and reverse the effects of climate change, the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery has awarded $24 million in grants to help convert more of the state’s organic waste (food, green waste, and wood) into renewable energy and compost.

“These latest climate investments provide a much-needed boost to California’s organic waste recycling capacity, which the state must roughly double to meet its greenhouse gas reduction and 75 percent recycling goals,” CalRecycle Director Scott Smithline said. “These infrastructure projects will diversify our local economies—creating durable green jobs that can’t be outsourced.”

When sent to landfills, organic waste decomposes and generates methane, a short-lived climate pollutant 70 times more potent than carbon dioxide. CalRecycle helps fund construction, renovation, or expansion of facilities in California that recycle organic material into value-added products like compost or renewable energy. 

CalRecycle’s Organics Grant program  is part of California Climate Investments, a statewide program that puts billions of cap-and-trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy, and improving human health and the environment—particularly in disadvantaged communities.

Of the $24 million allocated to CalRecycle’s Organics Grant program in 2016-17:

  • $12 million was dedicated to digestion projects, which turn organic waste into renewable energy and soil amendments. Maximum award: $4 million
  • $12 million was dedicated to compost operations—$3 million of which was allocated specifically for projects in rural areas. Maximum award: $3 million

Demand in CalRecycle’s Organics Grant Program well exceeded the $24 million in available funds for 2016-17, with 35 eligible applicants requesting $88.6 million. CalRecycle granted funds to the 10 highest scoring applicants based on criteria of greenhouse gas reductions, the amount of organic material diverted from landfills, benefits to disadvantaged communities, and project readiness.

Many infrastructure project proposals included funding for food rescue efforts to recover landfill-destined, edible food for Californians in need. Food waste prevention remains the most environmentally beneficial way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. While food rescue was not among the scoring criteria for the organics grant, it was a consideration for evaluating benefits to disadvantaged communities.

FY 2016-17 Organics Grant Program Recipients

Anaerobic Digestion  Projects:

County Sanitation Districts  of Los Angeles County

Los Angeles County

$4,000,000

Equipment upgrades to  complete organic food waste pre-processing and anaerobic digestion system.  Grantee will convert regional food waste into renewable gas for  transportation fuel. Includes dedicated funds for partnership with a local  food rescue entity.

  • New Jobs? Yes
  • New Organic Waste Diverted? Yes
  • Food Rescue Component? Yes

HZIU Kompogas SLO, Inc.

San Luis Obispo County

$4,000,000 

Design, build, and operate  a Kompogas anaerobic digestion facility. Grantee will convert regional  organic waste into renewable electricity and compost. Includes dedicated  funds for partnership with Valley Food Bank.

  • New Jobs? Yes
  • New Organic Waste Diverted? Yes
  • Food Rescue Component? Yes

Rialto Bioenergy Facility,  LLC

San Bernardino County

$4,000,000 

Equipment upgrades to in-vessel  digestion facility to process regional food waste into renewable electricity.  Includes dedicated funds for partnership with Helping Hands Pantry.

  • New Jobs? Yes
  • New Organic Waste Diverted? Yes
  • Food Rescue Component? Yes

Compost Projects:

City of San Diego

San Diego County

$3,000,000 

Equipment upgrade of  current windrow composting facility to a covered aerated static pile system.  Will enable regional expansion of food waste composting program. Includes  dedicated funds for partnership with Kitchens for Good.

  • New Jobs? Yes
  • New Organic Waste Diverted? Yes
  • Food Rescue Component? Yes

Mid Valley Recycling, LLC

Fresno County

Expansion of current  aerated static pile composting system to support new organic waste recycling  programs in the community.

$1,875,000 

  • New Jobs? Yes
  • New Organic Waste Diverted? Yes
  • Food Rescue Component? No

Salinas Valley Solid Waste  Authority

Monterey County

$1,341,865 

Expansion of current  organic chip and grind facility to include a food waste composting operation.  Includes equipment upgrades and dedicated funds for partnership with Food  Bank for Monterey County.

  • New Jobs? Yes
  • New Organic Waste Diverted? Yes
  • Food Rescue Component? Yes

Recology Yuba-Sutter

Yuba County

First of three -phase  project to design, build, and operate new covered aerated static pile compost  system to recycle regional green waste.

$2,783,135 

  • New Jobs? Yes
  • New Organic Waste Diverted? Yes
  • Food Rescue Component? No

Rural Compost Projects:

Napa Recycling & Waste  Services, LLC

Napa County

Equipment upgrades to  recover more food waste for grantee’s existing compost operation. Includes  dedicated funds for partnership with Emergency Food Bank of Stockton.

$541,700 

  • New Jobs? Yes
  • New Organic Waste Diverted? Yes
  • Food Rescue Component? Yes

South Lake Refuse Company,  LLC

Lake County

Equipment upgrades to  expand existing green waste composting site to include food waste composting.  Includes dedicated funds for partnership with Sacramento Food Bank and Family  Services.

$1,218,026

  • New Jobs? Yes
  • New Organic Waste Diverted? Yes
  • Food Rescue Component? Yes

West Coast Waste

Madera County

Design, build, and operate  new aerated static pile composting system to recycle regional organic waste.  An on-site learning center is also planned.

$1,240,274 

  • New Jobs? Yes
  • New Organic Waste Diverted? Yes
  • Food Rescue Component? No

Total: $24,000,000

Eligible applicants for CalRecycle’s Organics Grant program include cities, counties, and other local agencies; businesses; California universities and colleges; nonprofit organizations; and qualifying Indian Tribes.

Learn more about CalRecycle’s new Food Waste Prevention and Rescue Grant Program, California’s new push to recover edible food for hungry people before it becomes waste, and the state’s latest investments to turn food and other organic waste into renewable energy or increase compost capacity and demand in California.

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— Lance Klug
Posted on Aug 17, 2017

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