Waste authority has big plans for food scraps energy program

June 3, 2019

UTICA, N.Y. (AP) — A waste program in upstate New York hopes to produce energy from about 20,000 tons of food scraps each year.

Oneida-Herkimer Solid Waste Authority executive director Bill Rabbia tells the Utica Observer-Dispatch that the Food2Energy program will ramp up slowly, initially processing 8 to 9 tons of food waste weekly in the new machines.

The processed waste will go to an anaerobic digester, where microorganisms will break it down and convert it into a gas, like methane, which can be turned into energy.

Similar programs estimate each ton of processed food waste can power 8 to 10 homes for a week.

Rabbia says the program will look to large waste generators like colleges and hospitals to establish a food waste supply.

Food2Energy won’t replace existing food recycling or donation efforts.

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