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Science in action to improve the sustainability of agriculture, natural resources, and food systems
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Resource Recovery

CSANR has long recognized that organic waste streams from urban, rural, and agricultural areas including food scraps, manures, processing water, straw, and fats, oils and grease (FOG) contain valuable food, energy and nutrients that could be converted to renewable energy, transportation fuels, and bio-products. The use of such material is a win-win solution that could simultaneously produce valuable renewable products while reducing the environmental threats that result from present landfilling, improper field disposal, burning/incineration, etc.

We see this program as one that is working towards a world “beyond waste.” CSANR is thus working towards a world “beyond waste.” CSANR’s Food Systems Program works on some additional aspects of this larger effort, including efforts to recover edible food before it becomes waste.

We are supporting the development and demonstration of treatment and conversion technologies that efficiently utilize various organic feeds. To support commercialization of new and viable waste management technologies, our work evaluates and enhances economic viability by reducing processing costs and maximizing co-product value.

Cycle diagram depicting wastes; AD, pyrolysis & composting; nutrient recovery; renewable products; and improved economics


We are also working to maximize synergies and interconnections between technologies, through biorefinery systems approaches. These systems utilize a suite of interchangeable treatment technologies to achieve impact and viability greater than individual parts. This approach is summarized in our video, “Anaerobic Digestion: Beyond Waste Management” (a dairy farm-based system) featured in the sidebar and illustrated biorefinery concept documents for a municipal organics solids processing system and dairy.

Each of these technologies as well as their interconnections, eco-system benefits, and co-product markets are being actively researched and demonstrated with CSANR support. More information is available on our Projects page.


Many publications, presentations, videos, webinars and posters have been produced by this program.  To browse by topic, please view the Waste Management and Energy pages.  All Resource Recovery Program publications are available in our publications database.

Waste to Fuels (W2F)