• City of Orlando seeks to convert food waste into energy

    By: Cierra Putman

    Updated:

    ORLANDO, Fla. - Orlando is seeking to turn banana peels, egg shells and other food waste into power for businesses and homes.

    The city said it costs $37 per ton to dump waste at the landfill and that it's simply more efficient to instead turn old banana peels and other waste into energy.

    Residents have the option to drop off their food waste at Lake Eola on Sundays.

    The city said it collected 400 pounds of food waste at the farmers market on May 5. 

    "They charge us less to take the food waste there than we're charged at the landfill," said LeAnn Siefferman, who is the sustainability project coordinator with the City of Orlando.

    Those wanting to dump waste can bring the food in a compostable liner and then throw it in the bin on-site. Residents also have the option of dumping the contents of the plastic bag into the designated bin.

    The food then makes its way to Harvest Power, which uses anaerobic digestion so micro-organisms break down the food and turn into energy to power homes or businesses.

    Harvest Power received enough food in 2018 to create power for 2,300 homes.

    The city already collects food waste from more than 30 companies, but officials aren't ready to give food waste bins to every homeowner. 

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