Divert has begun construction on its new facility to convert food waste into renewable energy in Turlock, California.
According to the company, the 65,000-square-foot facility will capture and convert waste food into carbon-negative renewable energy, helping California reach its goal of net-zero carbon pollution by 2045.
Once operational in 2024, the facility is expected to process 100,000 tons of wasted food per year, producing enough renewable energy to power roughly 3,000 homes each year. It is also expected to offset up to 23,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually, which is equivalent to removing about 5,000 gas-powered cars off the road a year.
The project is partially funded by a $63 million municipal green bond issued through the California Public Finance Authority.
Divert believes that the wasted food crisis is a major contributor to climate change and food insecurity. It is estimated that the U.S. alone generates over 100 million tons of wasted food annually, with more than 50 percent ending up in landfills or incinerators. Wasted food contributes up to 15 percent of U.S. methane emissions and 10 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.
The company adds that its new facility will help reduce the emission of harmful methane from landfills by transforming waste from retailers and companies into carbon-negative renewable energy. It will also provide firms with data analytics to help them waste less and donate more edible food.
Notably, the SB 1383 legislation in California requires the diversion of wasted food from landfills through waste prevention or donation and encourages the use of anaerobic digestion to create renewable energy.
“For the past 16 years, Divert has been at the forefront of working to prevent waste through our sustainable infrastructure and advanced technologies,” said Ryan Begin, CEO and Co-Founder of Divert. “This is a transformative opportunity to scale Divert’s proven solutions in California and further accelerate our vision for a waste-free future.”
With the addition of the Turlock facility, Divert says it is moving closer to its goal of expanding to 30 facilities throughout the U.S. that are located within 100 miles of 80 percent of the U.S. population within the next eight years. The company presently manages about 0.5 percent of the country’s wasted food through partnerships with 5,400 food retail stores. The company