By Charles Feldman

LOS ANGELES ( — Officials with Los Angeles County hope they can mark Earth Day in the coming years with a way to convert food waste into fuel for vehicles using biological organism.

KNX 1070’s Charles Feldman reports the Board of Supervisors wants to use trash from hotels, supermarkets and county facilities to power cars.

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Several companies in L.A. County are already developing projects using anaerobic digestion – a process which uses organisms such as some bacteria that do not need oxygen to grow – to reduce landfill disposal and generate fuels and energy, according to Department of Public Works’ Pat Proano.

About 30 percent of the county’s waste comes from food waste, which, like other organics, is highly biodegradable, according to Proano.

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In 1989, California lawmakers passed recycling legislation Assembly Bill 939, which required jurisdictions to divert 25 percent of its waste from landfills by 1995 and 50 percent by 2000. Currently, L.A. County is diverting over 62 percent, according to Proano.

Adel Vizcarra, the planning and public works deputy for county Supervisor Michael Antonovich, is helping to spearhead a plan to produce a sustainable waste management system in order to meet state recycling targets – and keep up with other nations taking similar measures.

“A lot of countries in Europe are doing it, the U.S. has been a little slow to adopt it,” Vizcarra said.

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San Jose is currently the only U.S. city currently utilizing the technology, according to Feldman.