- The city of Manteca, California will spend $6.1 million over the next two years to add capacity for digesting organic waste and creating compressed natural gas (CNG) at its Wastewater Quality Control Facility, as reported by the Manteca Bulletin.
- The facility could initially produce 140,000 diesel gallon equivalents of CNG per year which would be used to fuel the city's fleet of collection vehicles. Residents could eventually use the station to fuel their CNG vehicles as well.
- Manteca has also proposed using money from the sale of Renewable Identification Number credits it will receive from the creation of this biofuel to pay for repairing roads, which are often worn down by collection vehicles.
Even before Governor Jerry Brown recently signed new laws around reducing methane and greenhouse gas emissions, California had some of the more ambitious diversion goals in the country. Mandatory commercial organics recycling is currently being phased in under AB 1826 and the state has a 75% diversion target by 2020. As these deadlines approach, the state has seen how difficult they may be to achieve.
Recent data from the Environmental Protection Agency showed that California is one of the top producers of carbon dioxide equivalent from waste and per capita waste generation has increased. Despite these challenges, California is still seen as one of the leading states on solid waste policy and local governments have been stepping up with their plans to further earn that reputation.
For some this means building anaerobic digestion facilities. In the case of Los Angeles, it means implementing a large-scale commercial waste franchising system. Manteca's plan to generate renewable fueling opportunities while funding road maintenance is an interesting approach that could be adopted in other smaller cities around the state.