San Jose Starts Pilot Food Waste Program

Allan Gerlat, News Editor

September 16, 2015

2 Min Read
San Jose Starts Pilot Food Waste Program

San Jose is beginning a pilot food waste collection program, in conjunction with recycling and waste hauler Garden City Sanitation (GCS).

The pilot program will test two types of carts for residential food waste collection. One will be a newly designed split garbage cart, with a 48-gallon section for waste on one side and a 16-gallon section for food scraps on the other, according to a news release. The second option will be a separate 20-gallon food waste cart in addition to the pilot customers’ existing waste and recycling carts.

The one-year pilot program is available to 6,500 San Jose households in the GCS service area. Participation is voluntary.

In addition to the new cart technology, GCS also is operating a new processing facility to add to the environmental benefit of the program. GCS President Louie Pellegrini designed and engineered the processing facility and food scrap collection method, called the Sustainable Alternative Feed Enterprises, or SAFE.

The program will provide a nutrient-rich product that meets the U.S. Department of Agriculture feed requirements for animals such as pigs, chickens and dogs. Besides finding a use for discarded food, the program also can help limit the use of land, water and other resources in the production of virgin crops for animal feed.

“We’re very excited to pilot SAFE in San Jose, which is the first of its kind,” Pellegrini  said. “It’s made possible by our newly-designed dryer that can extract moisture from food waste in a way that hasn’t been possible before.”

San Jose has a goal of zero waste by 2022.

In August Sevier Solid Waste Inc. (SSWI) said it is building a waste-to-energy (WTE) plant in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., at a cost of $2.25 million. The facility will convert composted material into thermal energy while also producing a high-carbon biochar. The new biomass gasification plant will be capable of converting more than 30 tons of organics daily.

Also that month, California’s assembly passed a bill requiring local governments to plan for the building of sufficient composting infrastructure to process organic waste. The California Senate passed AB 876, authored by Assembly member Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento), which would force local governments, beginning Aug. 1, 2017, to assess the amount of organic waste that will be generated in a region during a 15-year period.

In addition that month, the city of Orlando said it is expanding its commercial food waste collection program, previously a pilot, to make it available to all area businesses.


About the Author(s)

Allan Gerlat

News Editor, Waste360

Allan Gerlat joined the Waste360 staff in September 2011 as news editor. He was the editor of Waste & Recycling News for the first 16 years of its history, and under his guidance the publication won 27 national and regional awards.

Before Waste & Recycling News, Allan worked at another Crain Communications publication, Rubber & Plastics News, which covers rubber product manufacturing. He began with the publication as associate editor and eventually became managing editor, a position he held for nine years.

Allan is a graduate of Ohio University, where he earned a BS in journalism. He is based in Sagamore Hills, in northeast Ohio.

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