Photos: Turning food waste into energy

Food waste is one of the least recycled materials in municipal solid waste systems, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. But at least one organization in the San Francisco Bay Area is trying to change that.

The East Bay Municipal Utility District is experimenting with innovative techniques to convert raw food waste into usable energy, taking some of the massive amounts of food waste generated by local restaurants and using it to power its operations in Oakland, Calif.

In 2007, EBMUD was awarded a $50,000 grant from the EPA as part of the Resource Recovery Program to explore new ways of digesting food waste to produce methane gas.

Today, the facility is home to a million-dollar facility that is generating usable methane and producing nearly 100 percent of the power needed to operate the regional wastewater treatment operation.

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