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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

South SF Recycling Agency Converting Compost Into Fuel

Posted By on Wed, Sep 24, 2014 at 7:21 AM

click to enlarge SSFSC managing partners and elected offcials from South San Franscisco, Millbrae, Brisbane and Colma join SSFSC President Doug Button in a ribbon cutting ceremony for the company's new dry anaerobic digester. - SSFSC
  • SSFSC
  • SSFSC managing partners and elected offcials from South San Franscisco, Millbrae, Brisbane and Colma join SSFSC President Doug Button in a ribbon cutting ceremony for the company's new dry anaerobic digester.
New technology is enabling South San Francisco trash trucks to run on the very refuse they pick up.

South San Francisco Scavenger Company, which provides recycling and solid waste services at the San Francisco International Airport and in South San Francisco, Brisbane, and Millbrae, is partnering with the facility that processes its trash to convert food scraps into fuel.

A new so-called "digester" housed at the processing facility uses dry anaerobic digestion technology to transform the contents of compost bins across the Peninsula into compressed natural gas.

According to Doug Button, president of the Scavenger Company, the digester is a "truly closed loop system." Most digesters at other facilities create methane gas, then use the gas to generate electricity. However, Savenger's system will be the first to produce compressed natural gas.

The compressed natural gas (CNG) is clean-burning and will fuel the Scavenger Company's collection fleet. The digester will process 11,200 tons of compostable materials annually and produce up to 55 Diesel Gallon Equivalents (DGE) every day of CNG. The process also produces digestate, which matures into compost.

Button says, "The process keeps organic waste out of the landfill and cuts greenhouse gas emissions, benefiting the communities we serve, the environment and our company.”

Scavenger Company will host an open house for the public in mid-October so compost-loving citizens can see the digester in person. 

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Kate Conger

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Kate Conger has written for SF Weekly since 2011.

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