Calif. Town to Convert Yard Waste to Fuel

A new plant in Realto, Calif. will manufacture renewable energy from organic waste such as yard clippings, with the capability of producing 600 barrels per day. The new fuel will be branded RenDiesel™, which burns cleanly in engines that use diesel fuel.

Some cities in California already accept yard waste curbside. Photo:

Some cities in California already accept yard waste curbside. Photo:

Parent company Rentech is currently negotiating agreements with green waste haulers to provide the organic waste, but the company has not specified how much waste it will need.

Rentech estimates that its energy could also be used to power 30,000 homes, and renewable electricity will be sold to local utilities. The plant’s construction will also generate 55 permanent “green” jobs, one of President Obama’s goals in his American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan.

“The Rialto facility places Rentech at the forefront of the next generation bio-energy industry,” says Rentech President and CEO D. Hunt Ramsbottom.

“Previous generation technologies for bio-fuels such as biodiesel and ethanol used valuable feedstocks that compete with food to produce fuels of varying quality. This plant will be able to transform low-value waste streams into high-value green power and pure synthetic fuels that can be used in today’s engines and distribution infrastructure.”

Many California towns already pick up yard waste from consumers in a separate curbside bin. Other cities offer commercial composting to divert organic waste from landfills. Recycling cooking oil is also another common way of manufacturing diesel fuel.

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