Converting Food Waste to Energy [Video]


Approximately 40 percent of the food we produce in the U.S. goes to waste, and only 5 percent of that waste is being recycled. In other words, there is a lot of room for positive change.

For this segment of the Perennial Plate, we followed along on garbage trucks in Boulder (a zero-waste city) and went behind the scenes at the Heartland Biogas Project near LaSalle, Colorado. The project is a collaboration between EDF Energy and A1 Organics and it combines food waste and animal waste in an anaerobic digester system to produce biogas for the region. And while creating energy from food waste will never be as sustainable as preventing waste in the first place, as Scott Pexton of A1 Organics describes it, it’s “one rung up the ladder from composting.”

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  1. Friday, July 29th, 2016
    It's good to see how waste is being put to good use. Sad how much food is wasted when there are people world wide starving.
  2. Jennifer
    Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016
    I'm cringing at the shot of the waiter dumping half-eaten meals in the garbage when there is so much starvation around us. If you think about that one scenario multiplied across thousands of restaurants across the country, that's a lot of wasted food. I wish that portion sizes at restaurants were smaller so that people didn't end up leaving half their meals on the plate to be thrown in the garbage!
    • Vincent Albanese
      Monday, March 20th, 2017
      We bring restaurant food home all the time as leftovers. There are too many welathy people who have never known a paycheck to paycheck existence...and don't think much of the 75% of America who must live that way.
  3. Vincent Albanese
    Monday, March 20th, 2017
    Stop subsidizing farming. Make prices go up. Then we will stop wasting food..and quickly. It will help improve the health of the nation, also.