The promise of co-digestion is simple. Food waste in landfills releases large amounts of methane, so divert it for anaerobic digestion to reduce GHGs and, in turn, produce renewable energy, soil nutrients, and revenue.
Of course, implementation is not that simple. While California WRRFs, as a whole, have enough digestion tankage to handle 70-100% of the state’s diverted food waste in 2030, most WRRFs must invest in ancillary processes required for food waste receiving and beneficial use of biogas. Additionally, regulatory uncertainty around effluent quality, biogas utilization, and biosolids management present risks that must be considered.
In this Water Online article, Carollo’s Rashi Gupta, discusses the environmental benefits of co-digestion, the economics of undertaking the process, and factors that can make or break a co-digestion project.
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