Monterey Regional Waste Management District Installs Dry Anaerobic Digester
Digester is the first in the U.S. to use SMARTFERM technology
The Monterey Regional Waste Management District (MRWMD) and Zero Waste Energy LLC (ZWE) held an open house introducing the United States’ first dry anaerobic digester (AD) utilizing the SMARTFERM technology for use in processing organic waste. The SMARTFERM technology, developed in Germany, will be the first of its kind in the U.S. and will turn organic waste such as food scraps into electricity and high-quality compost for agricultural use.
SMARTFERM’s 21-day batch process diverts more than 99% of organic waste, reduces greenhouse gases, reduces reliance on landfills and produces a clean, green energy. The technology is semi-mobile, space efficient, prefabricated, and scalable up to 30,000 tons of waste per year.
Seen as a pilot program, the SMARTFERM installation will help determine the role of anaerobic digestion in the future of organics management at the MRWMD, considered one of the most advanced waste management districts in the country.
For the past four years, the MRWMD has been composting food scraps in response to requests from the local hospitality community’s interest in a more sustainable use for its organic waste. This dry AD project is the next achievement in efficiency for the district, who will sell the energy created from the dry AD to the neighboring Monterey Regional Water Pollution Control Agency.
“We are grateful for the MRWMD, who has taken an innovative leadership role and helped bring this valuable, viable technology to the industry and the country,” said Eric Herbert, CEO of Zero Waste Energy. “We are confident that this will be the first of many SMARTFERM plants installed in the U.S. over the next several years.”