Editorial: UCLA’s Composting Is Wasted Opportunity for Biofuel Production
(Daily Bruin) UCLA has sustained interest in reducing waste over the years, but it might have lost its interest in innovation.
While the 45 tons of food waste and biodegradable packaging its dining halls produce every month are all composted, UCLA has had trouble thinking outside the box.
UC Irvine, on the other hand, has turned its food waste problem into an investment in biofuels. Every week, sustainably fueled trucks transport food waste from the university’s dining halls and residential restaurants to a waste management plant to become bio-slurry – a low-carbon fuel capable of powering entire facilities.
The practical applications of biofuels outweigh those of compost. As much as compost contributes to more productive crops, the overhead cannot be overlooked. Composting is simply not the most efficient form of waste management, taking at least three months to decompose and turn into usable fertilizer.
On the other hand, Waste Management, UC Irvine’s partner in its food waste management process, is able to generate the bio-slurry in a matter of days, depending on the composition of waste. On top of that, the fuel is immediately available to benefit customers. The biofuel produced at the Orange, California, facility UC Irvine uses, for example, helps power a sewage treatment plan. READ MORE