Food Waste to Watts Program


The Food Waste to Watts program is a new program offered by the Humboldt Waste Management Authority that provides food waste diversion service.

This program has two distinct phases: In Phase 1, the diverted food waste is sent to the nearest permitted food waste compost facility while HWMA continues to develop an anaerobic digester. In Phase 2, the food waste will be sent to a local anaerobic digester where it will be converted into renewable energy and fertilizer.

HWMA is working with the City of Eureka, PG&E, Recology and Arcata Garbage Company to assess the most cost-efficient way to collect and process food waste locally.


Food Waste to Watts Project Benefits

  • Reduce Humboldt County’s vulnerability to high fuel prices
  • Increase regional independence!
  • Control waste management costs for organic waste
    (~1/3 of waste stream)
  • Generate renewable energy
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions
  • Create compost and liquid soil amendment
  • Increase local, “green-collar” jobs

Click here for more digester details.

Click here for more pilot project details.

Click here to watch an informational video!

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Accepted & Unaccepted Items

  • YES: Food-soiled paper, fruits, vegetables, meat, dairy, coffee filters, seafood, tea bags, small bones, pasta, toothpicks, milk cartons, eggs, bread.
  • NO: ALL plastics, Styrofoam, metals, glass, cardboard (put in cardboard bin), wood, yardwaste.





Food Waste Facts

  • 23: percentage of food found in Humboldt County’s overall disposed solid waste stream!
  • 187: number of miles (one way!) that Humboldt County’s currently hauls its solid waste to out-or-county landfills! (see side graphic)
  • 4: number miles that a truck hauling waste can go on 1 gallon of diesel!
  • 70: percentage of food found in restaurant waste!
  • 6: percentage of food soiled paper (e.g. pizza boxes, napkins, etc.) in Humboldt County's waste stream!
  • 180: number of homes per day that can be powered by one truckload (12 tons) of food waste!