The Sacramento, California-based California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) says it has awarded $24 million in grants to help convert more of the state’s organic waste (food, green waste, and wood) into renewable energy and compost.
“These latest climate investments provide a much-needed boost to California’s organic waste recycling capacity, which the state must roughly double to meet its greenhouse gas reduction and 75 percent recycling goals,” says CalRecycle Director Scott Smithline. “These infrastructure projects will diversify our local economies, creating durable green jobs that can’t be outsourced.”
When sent to landfills, organic waste decomposes and generates methane, says CalRecycle regarding why it helps fund the construction, renovation or expansion of facilities in California that convert organic material into products like compost or renewable energy.
CalRecycle’s Organics Grant Program is part of California Climate Investments, a statewide program designed to put cap-and-trade dollars to work “reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy, and improving human health and the environment—particularly in disadvantaged communities,” says the department.
Of the $24 million allocated to CalRecycle’s Organics Grant program in 2016-17:
- $12 million was dedicated to digestion (AD) projects, which turn organic waste into renewable energy and soil amendments (three awards of $4 million);
- $12 million was dedicated to compost operations, $3 million of which was allocated specifically for projects in rural areas (the single largest award was $3 million).
Demand for CalRecycle’s Organics Grant Program resulted in 35 eligible applicants requesting $88.6 million. CalRecycle says it granted funds to the 10 highest scoring applicants based on criteria of greenhouse gas reductions, the amount of organic material diverted from landfills, benefits to disadvantaged communities and project readiness.
Among the recipients of the largest grants were:
- the Sanitation District of Los Angeles County, which received a $4 million grant for upgrades to AD facilities;
- HZIU Kompogas SLO Inc., in San Luis Obispo, for a new AD facility;
- Rialto Bioenergy Facility LLC in San Bernardino for upgrades to an in-vessel digestion system; and
- the City of San Diego for the upgrading of its current windrow composting facility into a covered aerated static pile system.