Food waste program wins state award

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The Oneida-Herkimer Solid Waste Authority has received a Recycling Leadership Award from the New York State Association for Reduction, Reuse and Recycling for its food waste diversion program, Food2Energy.

The program allows businesses, organizations, schools and residents to deliver food waste to the authority’s $3.4 million facility in Utica for a fee less than standard garbage. Because the solid waste authority invested in depackaging equipment, food waste can be delivered in boxes, bags and original equipment. With the packaging removed, the waste food is mixed with gray water and emulsified into a slurry, which is then delivered next door to the Oneida County water pollution control plant, where it is used in the anaerobic digesting system to create gas used to create electricity for the plant.

“Food waste makes up 22% of all municipal solid waste sent to our Regional Landfill, and Food2Energy was created to address that,” said Authority Executive Director William Rabbia. “The authority is glad to be able to offer residents and businesses an economical and environmentally beneficial alternative to Landfill disposal of food waste. We are honored to receive this award from NYSAR3, and we are excited for the future of our Food2Energy program.”

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