November 19, 2020

Solid Waste Authority Receives Recycling Leadership Award for Food2Energy Project

The Oneida-Herkimer Solid Waste Authority (Authority) has received a Recycling Leadership Award from the New York State Association for Reduction, Reuse and Recycling (NYSAR3). NYSAR3 annually recognizes individuals, institutions, campaigns and programs that demonstrate commitment to enhancing and expanding waste reduction, recycling and reuse across New York State.

The Authority has promoted reduction, maximized recycling, and provided safe, economical disposal for non-recyclable waste for the Oneida-Herkimer region since its formation in 1988. The Authority is being recognized by NYSAR3 with the Innovation Award for its food waste diversion program, Food2Energy. This program allows for separate processing of food scraps to divert this waste from the Regional Landfill and turn it into energy. The $3.4 million facility is located at the Authority’s Utica location and will provide feedstock to Oneida County’s Water Pollution Control Plant’s (WPCP) anaerobic digestion system. To date, Food2Energy has resulted in over 4,000 tons of food waste recovered for energy.

Food2Energy allows businesses, organizations, schools and residents to deliver food waste to the Authority’s facility on Leland Avenue in Utica for a reduced disposal fee. Because the Authority has invested in a ‘de-packager,’ food waste can be delivered in boxes, bags and original containers, with no requirement to remove packaging. After food waste is de-packaged, gray water is added to the mix and the waste is emulsified into a slurry. This slurry is then delivered to the WPCP’s anaerobic digesters to create electricity utilized by the Plant.

“Food waste makes up 22% of all municipal solid waste sent to our Regional Landfill, and Food2Energy was created to address that,” says William Rabbia, Authority Executive Director. “The Authority is glad to be able to offer residents and businesses an economical and environmentally beneficial alternative to Landfill disposal of food waste. We are honored to receive this award from NYSAR3, and we are excited for the future of our Food2Energy program,” he continued.

More information about the Food2Energy program can be viewed at

The Authority was honored at a virtual awards ceremony today, November 19th, during the NYSAR3 Annual Recycling Conference.