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The East Bay Municipal Utility District (District) in Oakland, California has developed an innovative resource recovery facility to generate power from food wastes that might otherwise occupy landfill space. This paper will describe the planning, design, and construction of the facility. The District sought to identify sources of post-consumer food wastes that might be currently going to landfills. Ultimately the District formed a partnership with a local solid waste hauler who had been segregating post consumer food wastes from restaurants and food stores in an effort to divert this waste from their landfill. A full range of grinding and screening facilities and facility locations was studied to determine the best way to process the material trading off product quality with processing cost. After testing, it was agreed that the solid waste hauler would screen and grind the food waste prior to delivery to the District's new facility. This system appeared to produce adequate quality (reduced undesirable components) at an acceptable cost. After the pre-processing option for the food waste was selected, The District and its consultant formed a joint team to design the food waste receiving facility and the system for pumping wastes to the digesters. The District applied for and received a 550,000 grant from the California Energy Commission which partially offset the capital cost of the facility. Design of the facility was completed in three months and construction was completed in six months. The fast track implementation was necessary to meet the requirements of the grant. The facility has been in operation since the spring of 2004 generating additional revenue and power for the District. There are still a few issues being worked out with regard to food waste quality and the volume of inorganic material in the delivered waste. Additional facility modifications may be necessary to address this issue.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2005

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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