New Republic Services facility helps turn food waste into renewable energy
Republic Services has opened the Sacramento area's first organics pre-processing facility, which will help local communities divert food waste from landfills and turn it into renewable energy. A new California state law, SB 1383, aimed at combating climate change takes effect January 1, 2022, and will require the majority of California homes and business to recycle food and yard waste at facilities such as this one.
Diverting food and yard waste to recycling programs has a dual benefit: This organic material can be recycled by converting it into renewable energy or a product like compost, and diversion reduces emissions. To meet the requirements of the new state law, CalRecycle estimates that the state will need to double its current organics materials management infrastructure.
Republic's new facility accepts food waste collected from businesses in Sacramento County. The operation removes contamination such as plastic bags and produces clean organic material that is delivered to an anaerobic digestion facility. This facility converts the organic material into renewable energy that is used to power the facility, and, ultimately, could be sold to the public utility grid.
The new Sacramento facility is capable of processing 40,000 pounds of food waste per hour. This is Republic's third organics pre-processing operation, all of which are in California. The company also owns and operates six composting facilities in the state. In 2020, the company processed more than 2.15 billion pounds of food and yard waste.