waste. “We collect it and convert it to fuel for cars,” he says.
mandated residential diversion as well.
Here’s how it works: a company picks up the waste, grinds it into a slurry and delivers that mixture to the enormous digesters at the wastewater treatment plant where he works—huge sealed tanks where sewage sludge is heated and stirred. “They are each the size of one of the buildings at Village Green... and we have 24 of them.”
Anaerobic digestion of biodegradable garbage produces methane gas as it would in a landfill but in this case, the gas is contained and used to power trash trucks and district vehicles. “By diverting our organic waste to the wastewater treatment plant and using it to produce biofuel, that fuel gets burned and eventually produces CO2. But that biofuel replaces gasoline that would’ve gotten burned and produce CO2. So, you reduce the total emissions.”
Khoury says people get confused between food waste and garden composting. The anaerobic decomposition rate, he says, is much faster than composting garden waste: “Branches from trees take a while to decompose. Because food waste breaks
down so rapidly, it can’t be handled in landfills but it’s perfect for the wastewater treatment plants.” That’s why we’re using food waste bins in each trash area. It’s
not perfect, but it’s a positive step in fighting climate change.