Ground broken on 65,000-square-foot food waste processing facility
Food waste management company Divert Inc. has broken ground on a 65,000-square-foot diversion and energy facility in Turlock, California, that will capture and turn wasted food into carbon-negative renewable energy.
The facility, funded in part of a $63 million municipal green bond issued through the California Public Finance Authority, is located in Turlock.
“The wasted food crisis is a major contributor to climate change and food insecurity,” Ryan Begin, Divert CEO and co-founder, said in a news release. “It is fitting that today’s announcement falls on April 26, global Stop Food Waste Day. For the past 16 years, Divert has been at the forefront of working to prevent waste through our sustainable infrastructure and advanced technologies.
“This is a transformative opportunity to scale Divert’s proven solutions in California and further accelerate our vision for a waste-free future.”
The U.S. alone generates more than 100 million tons of wasted food annually, with over 50% going to landfills or incinerators, according to the release. Moreover, wasted food contributes up to 15% of U.S. methane emissions and 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
The Turlock facility, slated to be fully operational in 2024, will also provide companies with data analytics while processing 100,000 tons of wasted food a year. The facility will offset up to 23,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide a year — the equivalent to taking nearly 5,000 gas-powered cars off the road — while the facility’s renewable energy production will be enough to supply roughly 3,000 homes each year.
A California law passed in 2016 requires the diversion of wasted food from landfills through waste prevention or donation and encourages the use of anaerobic digestion to create renewable energy.
“I am proud of the work my office and partners across California are doing to address climate change and meet the state’s ambitious climate and clean energy goals through green financing,” California State Treasurer Fiona Ma said. “The green bond issued through the California Public Financing Authority is one example of how California is leading on climate change through quality, long-term green infrastructure opportunities. We applaud Divert’s commitment to tackling our state’s wasted food crisis with the development of this new facility, making strides toward a stronger economy and a better-quality life for the people that we serve, now and into the future.”
The Turlock facility brings Divert closer to plans to scale to 30 facilities across the U.S. to be within 100 miles of 80% of the country’s population in the next eight years, according to the release. The company currently manages approximately 0.5% of U.S. wasted food from 5,400 food retail stores.
“The city of Turlock is proud to support Divert’s continued expansion in Turlock, which will not only bring new jobs and economic growth to our region but make important strides in reducing the footprint of wasted food,” Turlock Mayor Amy Bublak said. “With our existing agricultural and manufacturing strengths, this facility will empower companies to prevent wasted food from reaching landfills by transforming it into carbon negative renewable energy to fuel local homes and businesses”
Founded in 2007, Divert Inc. creates advanced technologies and sustainable infrastructure to eliminate wasted food. Its solutions help prevent waste by maximizing the freshness of food, recovering edible food to serve communities in need, and converting wasted food into renewable energy.