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Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) Web Academy Webinar: Wasted Food to Energy: How 6 Water Resource Recovery Facilities are Boosting Biogas Production & the Bottom Line

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March 12, 2015, 2:00 - 4:00 pm (EST)

This session will bring together plant operators, utility management, engineering consultants, project developers, regulators, and academics interested in learning about how co-digestion is helping Water Resource Recovery Facilities (WRRFs) become “energy neutral” and even “energy positive” through a combination of energy efficiency measures and the addition of outside organic wastes.

You will hear about the co-digestion practices and experiences of six WRRFs: The East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) in Oakland, CA; the Central Marin Sanitation Agency (CMSA) in San Rafael, CA; the Hill Canyon Wastewater Treatment Plant in Thousand Oaks, CA; the Sheboygan Wastewater Treatment Facility in Sheboygan, WI; the Janesville Wastewater Treatment Facility in Janesville, WI; and the West Lafayette Wastewater Utility in West Lafayette, IN. These six facilities were interviewed for a recently published EPA paper. While a limited sample, the interviewed facilities nonetheless reflect the diversity of their sector, varying in capacity and employing management strategies suited to their unique infrastructural, geographic and economic circumstances.

During the webinar, as presented in the paper, the six facilities will discuss the types of food waste co-digested and the strategies - specifically, the tools, timing, and partnerships - employed to manage the material; they will share how they manage biogas and biosolids; and will explain how they funded their projects and justified the investment.

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Charlotte Ely — U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Charlotte joined the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 9 (EPA Pacific Southwest) in September of 2006 as an intern in the Environmental Careers Program and now works as a life scientist with the Sustainable Water Infrastructure Program. That program provides technical support and financial resources to communities to increase water and energy efficiency in water, wastewater, and stormwater infrastructure.

Sophia Skoda — EBMUD
Sophia Skoda managed the Resource Recovery trucked waste program at the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) in Oakland, California from 2006 to 2014. In 2012, EBMUD became the first wastewater plant in North America to become a net seller of electricity to the grid. She holds a BS in Civil Engineering from Stanford University and an MS in Civil Engineering from the University of California - Berkeley.

Jason Dow — CMSA
Jason has been with the CMSA since 1993, and has been the facility’s general manager since 2002. He holds a B.S. in Civil Engineering from UC Berkeley, and an M.S. in Environmental Engineering from San Francisco State University. Jason lives in Marin County with his wife and two children. He enjoys mountain bike riding and hiking.

Chuck Rogers — Hill Canyon
Chuck Rogers is a husband, a father, and the superintendent of the City of Thousand Oaks’ Hill Canyon Water Resource Recovery Facility. In 2014, Hill Canyon became a 100% renewable energy facility.

Sharon Thieszen — Sheboygan
Sharon is the Superintendent of the Sheboygan Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant. She earned her Bachelor’s degree from Bethel College, Kansas in Natural Science and Environmental Studies. Sharon has been actively engaged in the municipal clean water and resource recovery industry for twenty years. Sharon has served on the Wisconsin Wastewater Operator Association and the Central States Water Environment - Wisconsin Section boards since 2011. Sharon is passionate about protecting our most valuable resource: WATER, and increasing the public’s respect and connection to this vital resource

Dave Henderson — City of West Lafayette
Dave is the utility director of the West Lafayette Water Resource Recovery Facility. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Purdue University. He has two children, and has been happily married for 15 years. For the last three years, Dave has been a den leader for his son’s Cub Scout troop.

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