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Connecticut's Leftover Food Could Turn Into Marketable Methane Later This Year

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After more than two years, an effort to reduce the amount of food thrown out by big businesses and supermarkets is finally starting to take hold in Connecticut.

QuantumBiopoweris looking to capitalize on a 2014 law, which requires certain commercial producers recycle their food waste if they're within 20 miles of an organic recycling outpost.

Those recycling plants would then compost the food scraps, capture the methane released -- and turn it into energy which can be sold for profit.

For Quantum Biopower, it's been a long process. Over two years trying to navigate paperwork and state permits. Last week, the company’s proposed food recycling facility in Southington finally met a big milestone -- approval for its solid waste permit.

That means it could have its recycling plant operational later this year or in early 2017.

Other applicants are looking to build recycling plantsin Bridgeport, Southington, North Haven and Milford.

In the meantime, Americans continue to waste a lot of food -- one recent estimate from the EPA said about 36 million tons annually. That's about one-fifth of everything Americans throw away.

Copyright 2016 Connecticut Public

Patrick Skahill is a reporter at WNPR. He covers science and the environment. Prior to becoming a reporter, he was the founding producer of WNPR's The Colin McEnroe Show, which began in 2009. Patrick's reporting has appeared on NPR's Morning Edition, Here & Now, and All Things Considered. He has also reported for the Marketplace Morning Report. He can be reached by phone at 860-275-7297 or by email: pskahill@ctpublic.org.

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