Organic Waste Biorefinery
ORGANIC WASTE BIOREFINERY (click for concept paper)
Organics are the largest contributor to landfills in Washington State, accounting for 27.2% of the disposed waste stream in 2009. Food scraps made up the bulk of that stream, at 18.3% of disposed waste. Most of the recently established food scrap diversion programs, including the successful programs established in King County and the City of Seattle, send food scraps to existing compost yards. In some cases this is placing pressure on existing organics processing infrastructure and contributing to issues with odor release.
There are multiple ways to improve odor issues and compost quality when composting food scraps. Process changes (physical chemical, operational, infrastructural, and biological) are one important class of strategies. Meanwhile, the combination of different technologies (e.g. composting, thermal processing, anaerobic digestion, and nutrient recovery) into an organic waste biorefinery has the potential to assist in controlling odorous compounds, while creating a range of environmental and economic benefits.