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Groundbreaking on Utah’s First Food Waste Digester

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Groundbreaking on Utah’s First Food Waste Digester

SALT LAKE CITY, (June 15, 2017) – Wasatch Resource Recovery, in partnership with ALPRO Energy & Water, and South Davis Sewer District, will break ground to build Utah’s first anaerobic digester for organic food waste, a process that converts organic food waste into renewable resources. The event will be June 15 at 10 a.m. at 1380 W. Center Street, North Salt Lake.

The WRR facility, built by Alder Construction and designed and engineered by AQUA Engineering, will house an anaerobic digester that allows food waste to be diverted from landfills and recycled. The by-products of this process are biogas used as renewable energy and nutrient-rich, carbon-based fertilizer to grow crops.

“This facility is the first of its kind in Utah,” said Morgan Bowerman, WRR resource recovery and sustainability manager. “Organic waste makes up nearly 30 percent of our landfills. Our process can use that waste and result in considerable cost savings for businesses, institutions and service providers.”

Special equipment removes contaminants and then grinds and liquefies the material to create a slurry suitable for the digester. The digester breaks down the food and converts it into methane, a renewable energy source. The methane is collected and is then produced into pipeline grade natural gas.

“This process can generate enough natural gas from previously landfilled materials to continuously supply a community the size of Bountiful, Utah (40,000 people),” said Bowerman. “The solids from the digestion produces a bio-based, nutrient-rich fertilizer which can then be marketed to the agriculture industry.”

By diverting organic food waste to the digester, WRR can capture methane and other greenhouse gases that are emitted from decomposing waste in a way that landfills cannot. By collecting these gases, WRR can decrease air pollution and improve Utah’s overall air quality.

Some of the gasses WRR can capture contribute to poor air quality and impact the health of Utahns along the Wasatch Front. Methane alone is over 25 times more damaging to the atmosphere than CO2. The amount of methane WRR anticipates capturing will be equivalent to removing over 75,000 cars off the highway each year.

“By forging unprecedented partnerships, Utah continues to lead on providing innovative, market-based solutions that drive our energy economy, grow jobs, and improve our air quality,” said Dr. Laura Nelson, energy advisor to Utah’s governor and the executive director of the Governor’s Office of Energy Development. “We are proud to carry forward Governor Herbert’s vision to help create pioneering outcomes to meet the demands of our future through enterprising projects, like Wasatch Resource Recovery.”

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Wasatch Resource Recovery
Wasatch Resource Recovery operates under a public-private partnership between ALPRO Energy & Water and the South Davis Sewer District. Wasatch Resource Recovery, located in North Salt Lake, will be home to Utah’s first anaerobic digester dedicated to food waste, which will be used to convert food and organic waste into renewable resources to benefit Utah’s communities.

South Davis Sewer District
Since 1959, the South Davis Sewer District has provided wastewater services to south Davis County as an independent special district. The District serves approximately 95,000 citizens with two treatment plants. The north plant can treat up to 12 million gallons of wastewater per day, and the south plant can treat up to 4 million gallons of wastewater daily. In addition to the treatment plants, the District owns and operates the collection system made up of 370 miles of sewer lines, 8,565 manholes and 10 lift stations.

ALPRO Energy & Water
ALPRO Energy & Water is a partnership specializing in the development, engineering and construction of water treatment and waste to energy-related infrastructure projects. Focusing on development, implementation and operations, ALPRO provides full turn-key solutions in clean water, renewable energy, waste minimization and energy reduction.

Alder Construction
Alder Construction Company is a family owned general contractor licensed throughout the United States. Since its inception in 1966, Alder has focused on the construction of water treatment plants, wastewater treatment plants, pump stations and pipeline projects. Alder continues to lead this industry and has completed over 45 water and wastewater treatment plant projects in the last 15 years.

AQUA Engineering
AQUA Engineering, established in 1997, is a civil engineering firm specializing in municipal engineering, water and wastewater treatment design, water resources and environmental services. Located in Bountiful, Utah AQUA, with its affiliates, SKM Inc., and Aqua Environmental Services, has provided quality services to provide complete solutions to water and wastewater treatment needs for clients throughout the West.