Farm to Fork to Fuel to Farm – Closing the Loop


Guest column by Christina Ragsdale, APR

Senior Communications & Marketing Specialist , Air Quality Management District

Everyone who has seen the film “Back to the Future” got a great laugh when actor Christopher Lloyd dropped a banana peel into the ‘flux capacitor’ to fuel his time-travelling DeLorean. No one dreamed that it might someday become reality – but a new way to use food waste to power our cars and trucks is here today, and Sacramento is the epicenter!

It’s called: Farm to Fork to Fuel to Farm. What exactly is that, you may ask? It’s a solution to local energy and fuel needs, a way to reduce waste going to landfills, it’s a way for local businesses, farmers, food processors and restaurants to save money, and a way for us all to do more for our environment.

How does it work, then? A local company called Clean World developed a digester that turns food waste into renewable, locally-produced electricity or natural gas fuel, with the remainder used as a valuable crop fertilizer. Local waste hauler Atlas Disposal is already using the fuel in their trucks, as are others. Food waste can come from a variety of sources, and keeping it out of the landfill is great for them, but it also keeps harmful greenhouse gasses out of our atmosphere.

Now farmers, food processors or anyone who produces food waste can recycle this waste, bringing new jobs and industries to Sacramento, along with environmental benefits and we can “close the loop” on valuable material that’s been going to landfill!

How can you be part of this? You can learn more about food waste recycling for your business, restaurant, employee cafeteria or neighborhood by visiting these sites!

Learn about this exciting invented-in-Sacramento technology:

Learn how it’s being used to make fuel for our local vehicles:

Learn how you can be part of this new way to use what used to be waste – and turn it into energy!

See the digester in action and learn more about it by watching this video: