SAN JOSE (CBS SF) – Food scraps will be turned into animal feed under a new pilot program for San Jose residents that will help the city move closer to its goal of zero waste by 2022.
The year-long pilot program starting this month will be available for 6,500 homes in the city served by Garden City Sanitation, one of the city’s waste collection service providers, city officials said.
The conversion is possible through new technology and a new processing facility, which will help reduce garbage and greenhouse gas emissions that normally come from food scraps, according to city officials.
Currently, residents have a gray cart for recycling and a black cart for garbage, city officials said.
The program will test out two different types of carts.
Under the “green pilot area,” a black garbage cart is split into 48 gallons for garbage and 16 gallons for food scraps, according to Garden City Sanitation.
The other option, the “blue pilot area,” provides customers with a separate 20-gallon food scrap cart that would be an addition to the existing recycling and garbage carts, according to the business.
Residents can volunteer for the program and will not face extra charges to participate, according to flyers for the program.
“The most creative part of this program is how food waste will be reused,” city environmental services director Kerrie Romanow said in a statement.
“Innovative programs like this one have the potential to reduce waste going to landfill and help fight climate change,” she said.
A 2008 city study showed that 43 percent of garbage from single-family homes was made up by food scraps.
Louie Pellegrini, president of Garden City Sanitation, developed the Sustainable Alternative Feed Enterprises food scrap collection method and facility.
“We’re very excited to pilot SAFE in San José, which is the first of its kind,” Pellegrini said in a statement.
“It’s made possible by our newly-designed dryer that can extract moisture from food waste in a way that hasn’t been possible before,” he said.
The feed meets U.S. Department of Agriculture requirements that can be given to pigs, chickens, dogs and other animals, city officials said.
The program will help limit using resources such as land and water to make animal feed, according to city officials.
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