Saving expense while generating renewable energy
Most food waste is heaped onto landfills. Some is composted. We’re now seeing results from a third option which converts the waste into renewable energy.
An Orlando, Florida initiative enables businesses to send food waste for processing at a Walt Disney World biogas plant. Participating businesses place organic waste in a “green bin” rather than a dumpster. From there, it can be sent to a biofuel facility at less cost than having it hauled to a landfill.
The $30 million biofuel facility can process about 120,000 tons of organic material per year at its “backstage” Walt Disney World location. That yields as much as 5.4 MW of combined heat and electricity from biogas. After that the pelletized remains remain useful as compost and fertilizer.
The program has brought benefits well beyond the vacation kingdom. Since fall, 2014, more than 2.25 million pounds of food waste has been diverted from landfills as a result of the City of Orlando’s Commercial Food Waste Collection Program.