The city of Minneapolis has expressed interest in becoming a zero waste city. In order to do so the city will need to consider outlets for food waste. Consumer level food waste in the United States is contributing to a number of environmental issues on the global, regional, and local level. While reductions to this waste stream will help mitigate these effects, food waste will never be completely eliminated and there are a number of technologies that makes it a useful resource. This paper will describe three technology options (waste-to-energy, composting, and anaerobic digestion), stakeholders involved in waste management, and three case studies that have experience with these technologies and food waste to form policy implications for the city of Minneapolis. These three considerations will help contextualize some of the policy options that have been used already and how they could impact future decisions in food waste management.
Minneapolis currently uses waste-to-energy and composting facilities for waste management. Waste-to-energy facilities can process all forms of waste, but food negatively impacts energy generation from incineration. Composting is better suited for food waste, but is not the only technology suitable for this waste stream. Anaerobic digestion is a technology that is able to process food waste, while also creating biogas that can be used for heating, electricity, and transportation, and is currently not used by Minneapolis. All three technologies are promoted differently at the national, state, and local scale making goal setting and policy making that impacts food waste a challenge for cities. Further the combination of public and private waste management programs complicate who should be investing in these technology options.
Professional paper for the fulfillment of the Master of Science in Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy degree.
Impacts of Scale on Food Waste Technologies An Analysis of Three Technology Options for the City of Minneapolis.
Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy,
Content distributed via the University of Minnesota's Digital Conservancy may be subject to additional license and use restrictions applied by the depositor.