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Manteca lands $3M grant for food to fuel

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POSTED June 26, 2017 2:02 a.m.

Manteca is setting a new standard in forward thinking when it comes to diverting garbage from landfills. 

The California Energy Commission has awarded the city a 50 percent matching grant of $3 million to help Manteca construct a $6 million biofuel production facility at the wastewater treatment plant.

Councilman Richard Silverman, who spoke briefly at the state energy commission meeting that reviewed the city’s application, noted the state considers the Manteca undertaking a model for the entire state.

Manteca is considered to be among a handful of cities in the state well on their way to meeting a state mandate to stop landfilling a large chunk of the food waste they collect.

The city within two years will be converting food waste into compressed natural gas to power the city’s fleet of nearly two dozen solid waste collection trucks.

Manteca has already started collecting food waste using orange bins from schools, restaurants, and places such as supermarkets that toss out food.

The food to waste plan is based on the generation in a typical year of 3,410 tons of food waste from schools as well as restaurant and commercial sources within Manteca. In addition, 209 tons of fat, oil and grease (FOG) generated in Manteca are being exported to other disposal sites.

Manteca’s residential garbage contains 45.7 percent food waste. If separated from other waste, it would produce 9,128 tons of food waste a year.

The wastewater treatment plant also generates 107,000 cubic feet of biogas per day and burns natural gas in boilers to heat digesters needed to break down sewage.

Combining food waste with the biogas would initially create 140,000 diesel gallon equivalents a year in fuel. The facility being built could ultimately generate 250,000 gallons of fuel a year.

The project will reduce the city’s landfill disposal by up to 32 percent annual to generate operational savings for the solid waste division.

The overall project is $19.8 million.

Part of the cost — $10.5 million — was needed to have been spent anyway to replace aging digesters at the treatment plant and build a new control building. Funding for that portion of the project has been set aside over the years from monthly sewer charges.

The receiving facility for fog, oil and grease will cost $1.3 million. It too is being funded from the sewer maintenance and operation fund.

The compressed biogas fueling facility will cost $6 million. The San Joaquin Valley Air Quality Control District has awarded the city a grant to cover part of that tab. They will receive the grant when the facility is up and running.

The food waste receiving facilities being put in place at the Lovelace Transfer Station north of Manteca where the city trucks solid waste it collects will cost $545,000.

The cost of the food waste receiving facility was built into the solid waste rate structure that went into effect in March.

 

To contact Dennis Wyatt, email dwyatt@mantecabulletin.com

 

 

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