Wasatch Resource Recovery (WRR), Salt Lake City, Utah, opened the doors to what is said to be Utah’s first anaerobic digester for food waste.

The facility, designed in partnership with ALPRO Energy & Water, Salt Lake City, Utah, and South Davis Sewer District, West Bountiful, Utah, will capture renewable energy from food waste to produce enough natural gas for a city the size of Bountiful, Utah.

Built by Alder Construction, Salt Lake City, Utah, and designed and engineered by AQUA Engineering, Bountiful, Utah, the WRR facility houses two anaerobic digesters that divert food waste from landfills. Byproducts of this process are bio-gas used as renewable energy and nutrient-rich, carbon-based fertilizer.

“Organic waste makes up nearly 30% of our landfills,” says Morgan Bowerman, resource recovery and sustainability manager for WRR. “This new process can use that waste and bring considerable cost savings for businesses, institutions and service providers throughout the state.”

The highly technical equipment is designed to remove contaminants, and grind and liquefy the material to create a slurry suitable for the digester. After the digester breaks down the food and converts it into methane, the methane will be collected and conditioned into pipeline-grade natural gas.

“This process can generate enough natural gas from previously landfilled materials to continuously supply a community with a population of 40,000,” says Bowerman. “To start, we will employ up to 12 new full-time positions.