WTEL is proud to partner with the LPS Compost Program. Since 2015, the program and our partnership have grown larger and stronger. This year, WTEL served around 8,000 students at 12 LPS locations. We look forward to serving even more in the coming 2018-19 school year.
Over the 2017-18 school year, WTEL collected nearly 325,000lbs of food waste for the Lincoln Public Schools (LPS) Compost Program. That's enough food waste to produce 3,700 gallons of renewable fuel - enough to fuel nearly 250 garbage trucks for one day. In all, these 12 schools avoided nearly 270 tons of greenhouse gas emissions.
More than just composting, the schools that participate with WTEL also produce renewable energy in the form of heat and fuel. Rather than just making soil, the food waste that we collect is processed at our facility and sent to the local wastewater treatment facility where it is converted into renewable heat to help power the facility. In 2018, the wastewater treatment plant at Theresa Street will begin producing renewable fuel for city buses. Our food waste provides a valuable resource that will help the city to produce more renewable fuel and of a higher quality. In this process, approximately 90% of the food waste that we collect becomes renewable natural gas (RNG); the renewable version of the more familiar compressed natural gas (CNG). The 10% that remains is comprised mostly of a nutrient-rich liquid that can be used as plant food, lawn fertilizer or compost tea. Any packaging and dinnerware items that our process sorts are either composted, recycled or landfilled.