Company Aims to Solve Food Waste Problem in Utah

DAVIS COUNTY, Utah (ABC4 Utah) - Alpro Energy & Water is planning to build Utah's first anaerobic digester to process food waste. The machine would turn the waste into sustainable natural gas and fertilizer. Try to reduce millions of pounds of food waste from going to the landfill.

The Salt Lake County Landfill takes in over 500,000 pounds a day of food waste. It doesn't just take up room, but creates methane gas which costs money to manage.

Alpro VP Glen Perry said there would be enough capacity to take in waste from several areas.

"A large enough volume to be able to deal with the entire Wasatch front and Wasatch back," said Perry. "There are hundreds of thousands of tons and we will be able to handle over a couple thousand tons a week."

The digester would be built at the South Davis Sewer District for around $40 million, but the project is privately funded. That facility already turns sewage into natural gas, and the infrastructure would already be in place for the new facility to put the gas into the pipeline.

Because the natural gas comes from food, instead of being drilled from the ground, it's a sustainable form of energy. The other byproduct is fertilizers.

Sewer District General Manager Dal Wayment said the project is also a benefit for them because it gives a place for food to go. He said they have to spend over $250,000 a year getting food out of sewer from garbage disposals.

Wayment says the facility would create around eight new jobs and with revenues would be cost sustainable.

Engineer Scott Rodgers who is working on the project said it's not often something like this can have such an environmental impact on an area.

With energy prices so low he sees the project making an even bigger impact in the future.

"The only way that energy is going to go is up," said Rodgers. "So building this now, if it's economical today, at today's energy costs, it's certainly going to be economical tomorrow."

The project still has certain phases to go through, but could be up and running by the end of next year.







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