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Source: US Environment Protection Agency

News Releases from Region 01

10/01/2020

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BOSTON — Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that the Agency selected 12 recipients to receive approximately $3 million in funding to help reduce food loss and waste and to divert food waste from landfills by expanding anaerobic digester capacity in the United States. The project types selected for funding include feasibility studies, demonstration projects, as well as technical assistance and training. EPA anticipates that it will make these awards once all legal and administrative requirements are satisfied.

The Massachusetts-based Center for EcoTechnology will receive a $290,422 grant and plans to work with government agencies, haulers, food businesses, trade associations, and other entities in New England and the Mid-Atlantic to provide technical assistance, training and capacity building that will develop and disseminate anaerobic digestion resources.

“Finding solutions to better curb food waste continues to be a top priority for the Trump administration,” said EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler. “This year’s round of innovative community projects is focusing on ways to reduce food waste at the local and state levels and divert it from landfills.”

“Finding solutions to better curb food waste continues to be a top priority for EPA nationwide and we are especially proud to have a grantee in New England in the Center for EcoTechnology that is doing great work to help advance this goal,” said EPA New England Regional Administrator Dennis Deziel. “With this funding, CET will help expand anaerobic digestion, while reducing food waste that goes into our landfills and incinerators in seven states in New England and the Mid-Atlantic.”

John Majercak, President, Center for EcoTechnology said: “We are very excited for the opportunity to partner with US EPA to address wasted food and expand the use of Anaerobic Digestion as one of the important solutions in the food recovery hierarchy. This grant will deepen our engagement with cities, state agencies, industry and nonprofit organizations from Maryland to Massachusetts. We will deploy field tested strategies to increase wasted food diversion and achieve the economic and environmental benefits that result when tackling this important issue.”

This anaerobic digestion funding opportunity is a part of EPA’s efforts and contributions to the Winning on Reducing Food Waste Initiative, a partnership among EPA, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Food and Drug Administration, to reduce food loss and waste through individual and combined federal action. Anaerobic digestion is a process where microorganisms break down organic materials, such as food scraps, manure and sewage sludge, all in the absence of oxygen. Anaerobic digestion produces biogas, which can be captured and used for energy production, and “digestate,” a nutrient-rich product, such as a fertilizer.

Anaerobic digestion is a strategy included in EPA’s food recovery hierarchy that is preferable to landfilling/incineration because it reclaims valuable resources. Keeping food waste from landfills, such as transforming it into fuel or fertilizer, can save money and reduce environmental impacts.

Background:

In 2019, EPA awarded a total of more than $110,000 in targeted cooperative agreements, to the city of Madison, Wisconsin, the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation and Washington State University’s Energy Program for expanding anaerobic digester capacity. Plans from these recipients include holding workshops promoting anaerobic digestion projects, providing subawards, and assistance opportunities for anaerobic digestion projects focusing on the food and beverage business sector.

For more information on anaerobic digestion, please visit: https://www.epa.gov/anaerobic-digestion.

To learn about other EPA Resources and Possible Funding Opportunities Related to the Food System, please visit: https://www.epa.gov/sustainable-management-food/resources-and-possible-funding-opportunities-related-food-system

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