San Mateo to convert its waste into fuel

City is first to turn biogas into compressed natural gas at wastewater plant.

By Samantha Weigel, The Daily Journal.

Most might not consider that flushing a toilet or running a dishwasher could contribute to fueling a vehicle. But such is the future for thousands of local residents, as San Mateo will break ground on California’s first city-run biogas conversion project to produce compressed natural gas at its wastewater treatment plant. 

Officials will break ground Friday, Dec. 11, on a nearly $5 million improvement that will contribute to the city’s sustainability goals by reducing its dependency on gasoline thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions. 

After receiving a $2.45 million grant from the state, the city plans to construct a digester that will capture underutilized biogas, which naturally occurs while treating wastewater, and turn it into compressed natural gas that will be used to fuel new city-owned vehicles.

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