Yakima City Council will continue to study microorganisms as an option for breaking down organic waste in Yakima.
The council on Tuesday passed a resolution allowing city staff to apply for a grant through the Environmental Protection Agency to support the use of anaerobic digestion, a natural process in which microorganisms Break down organic material such as food scraps, manure and other organic waste, according to the EPA.
The product process biogas, which is a renewable energy source made up of methane and carbon dioxide. Digestate is the solid material that remains after anaerobic digestion. The nutrient-rich product can be used as a fertilizer, the EPA said.
The city is already working on an EPA grant application for an anaerobic digestion feasibility study, said board member Kay Funk. Funk is a member of the Yakima County Solid Waste Advisory Committee.
The study would assess costs and revenues, waste streams and energy yields, she said. It would also decide how the biogas and digestate products could be used.
Yakima resident Coleen Anderson supports the use of anaerobic digestion to break down green waste, she said in public comment.
“It would benefit all residents of Yakima, including racially diverse and vulnerable populations, for example by improving air quality and reducing garbage collection costs,” Anderson said. “In addition, the city could generate considerable income from the sale of bioenergy and fertilizers and compost which are by-products. “
Anderson said she still had questions and would attend a public information meeting.