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Zero Waste Energy Development Co. (ZWEDC) will open its approximately 1.6 MW dry fermentation anaerobic digestion (AD) facility in San Jose this month.

According to ZWEDC, food scraps, yard waste and other compostable materials from San Jose businesses will be converted into renewable energy and compost. Dry fermentation AD is a natural biological process in which bacteria breaks down organic matter in an oxygen-free environment. Decomposition occurs in stages and converts organic matter into a combustible biogas with a high methane content.

The fully enclosed and ventilated facility includes 16 anaerobic digesters and four in-vessel composting tunnels, ZWEDC reports.

The company says that while it has already been composting food waste, the new ZWEDC facility will augment the system with advanced processing and recovery of the energy value of the food waste stream.

The site was a city-owned unclosed landfill, ZWEDC notes. The company invested $11.8 million to close the landfill and develop infrastructure on the site as prepayment for its 30-year lease.

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