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Here’s where your rotten kitchen scraps are turned into natural gas and fertilizer

Utah’s 2-year-old digester is accepting residential food waste such as spoiled produce, meat, bread and dairy products.

(Rick Egan | Tribune file photo) A digester at Wasatch Resource Recovery in North Salt Lake in 2019.

Got sour milk? Rotten lettuce? Moldy bread?

Don’t throw them in the trash.

That icky, spoiled foodstuff can now go to Utah’s giant food digester, where it will be turned into renewable natural gas and nutrient-rich soil.

Wasatch Resource Recovery is accepting small volumes of residential food waste — under 15 gallons per trip — from Utahns. Acceptable items include fruits, vegetables, meat, dairy products and bread.

The food scraps can be dropped off — for free — just inside the facility gates at 1370 W. Center St., North Salt Lake.

Utah’s first anaerobic food digester revved up two years ago. Since then, this giant beast has been taking food waste from grocery stores, restaurants and other commercial food operations. (As well as 275 cases of beer from state liquor stores in 2019.)

The food is then transformed into natural gas and fertilizer.

The public drop-off service has been something the facility has wanted to offer since opening, sustainability manager Morgan Bowerman said in a news release.

Food sent to landfills, she said, does not break down as quickly as one might expect because it is not exposed to enough oxygen. And food that degrades slowly releases methane — a harmful greenhouse gas — into the atmosphere.

“We hope this will really take off,” she said of the public drop-off site, “and residents will embrace the opportunity to send us their food waste.”

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