Report: Portland, OR to set rules to use food scraps to create energy

By Steve Law, Portland Tribune.

Metro wants to transform how the Portland area handles food waste, converting our chicken bones, melon rinds and other food scraps into renewable energy instead of burying them in an Eastern Oregon landfill. 

To accomplish that, Metro is fashioning new mandates on businesses and local governments to require separate collection of food scraps, culminating in an eventual ban on sending food waste to the landfill. The regional government, responsible for the Portland area's solid waste system, also is soliciting a private company to build a plant that breaks down food waste and turns it into biogas or electricity, or perhaps compost. 

"Food waste is just a tremendous resource that we're putting into the ground right now," says Pam Peck, Metro's resource conservation and recycling planning manager. 

On May 25, Metro asked companies to submit proposals by July 26 to build a treatment facility. At least two companies confirmed they'll submit proposals, one in Portland and one in Wilsonville. (See related story.)