Grant Supports Organics Recycling, Food Rescue
$4 Million to Help Fund Anaerobic Digestion Facility, Purchase Refrigerated Delivery Truck
A new anaerobic digestion facility in San Luis Obispo County, partially funded through CalRecycle’s Organics Grant Program, will process 35,720 tons of organic material per year that would otherwise be landfilled.
Kompogas SLO will convert organic yard and food waste into renewable energy and feedstock for local composting facilities.
SB 1383 (Lara, Chapter 395, Statutes of 2016) requires the state to divert 50 percent of organic material from landfills by 2020 and 75 percent by 2025 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions generated by organic material decomposing in landfills. In response to the new law, SLO Integrated Waste Management Authority coordinated with its local hauler, Waste Connections, to identify and forecast opportunities for organic waste diversion. Kompogas SLO will reduce greenhouse gas emissions not only by diverting organic materials from disposal but also by reducing vehicle miles involved with transporting organic waste.
Construction on the new facility began in November 2017, and it is expected to be up and running in late spring 2019.
Despite current organics collection efforts, a significant amount of organic waste still ends up in landfills because local organics recycling infrastructure is maxed out and it’s costly to transport the material out of the region. At full capacity, Kompogas SLO will digest 35,720 tons per year of organics that would otherwise be disposed at the Cold Canyon Landfill. The total GHG reductions over 10 years is equivalent to removing more than 1,600 cars from the road every year.
Kompogas SLO and Valley Food Bank collaborated to apply for the CalRecycle grant and received a combined $4 million. The food bank will use $119,000 to purchase a new refrigerated truck to rescue edible food from the waste stream and redirect it to Californians in need. The rest will go toward the cost of the $7.77 million anaerobic digestion facility.
Last year, Valley Food Bank provided $9.1 million worth of food to families living at or below the poverty line in the San Fernando Valley. With the new truck, the food bank will be able to respond to last-minute notifications to pick up meat and produce and expand its operations by 500 tons of fresh food per year.
The Greenhouse Gas Reduction Organics Grant Program is part of California Climate Investments, a statewide initiative that puts billions of Cap-and-Trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy, and improving public health and the environment—particularly in disadvantaged communities. The Cap-and-Trade Program also creates a financial incentive for industries to invest in clean technologies and develop innovative ways to reduce pollution. California Climate Investment projects include affordable housing, renewable energy, public transportation, zero-emission vehicles, environmental restoration, more sustainable agriculture, and recycling. At least 35 percent of these investments are made in disadvantaged and low-income communities. For more information, visit California Climate Investments.