L.A. County Calls For Trash-to-Fuel Legislation
(Government Technology) In Los Angeles, one man’s trash is another man’s biofuel – or at least, it will be soon. The L.A. County Board of Supervisors approved a motion late last month that calls on federal and state legislators to update trash conversion technologies in California. Presented by Supervisor Don Knabe, the motion encourages legislation in support of conversion technologies that could be used to convert some of L.A. County’s 8 million tons of annual landfill waste into something useful.
“These technologies have successfully operated in dozens of other countries, but the development of similar technologies in California has been hampered by decades-old regulations that only envisioned trash being buried or burned,” L.A. County Public Works Director Gail Farber said.
The motion was partially driven by pressures to find a solution for the county’s rapidly growing landfills, many of which are expected to soon reach capacity as the population outgrows the facilities available. Plans to convert garbage into biofuel fit into Los Angeles’ goal to become a “zero waste” city by 2030.
Exact plans for L.A. to convert it’s trash do not yet exist, but companies like Blue Fire Renewables are building plants in Lancaster, California and Fulton, Mississippi that convert sugars in waste into ethanol. The Fulton plant will “produce approximately 19 million gallons of ethanol per year from woody biomass, mill residue, and other cellulosic waste,” according to the Blue Fire Renewables website. The firm also announced plans in February to build a cellulose to sugar plant in South Korea for GS Caltex, one of the largest oil refiners in the country. READ MORE