The Proposed Project

The proposed Lakeside Food-Scraps-to-Energy project will create energy from food waste that is currently sent to landfills in San Diego County. It will utilize a process called anaerobic digestion. Anaerobic digestion is used to produce energy both in the U.S. and internationally. The Lakeside project uses proven technologies to safely and efficiently create energy in this manner.

An Innovative Solution

The proposed Lakeside Food-Scraps-to-Energy project will help meet important regional needs, including: preserving landfill capacity by diverting food waste, increasing energy generation from renewable sources, and complying with State-mandated waste diversion requirements.


In October 2014 Governor Brown signed AB 1826 Chesbro (Chapter 727, Statutes of 2014), requiring businesses generating significant food waste to recycle organic waste on and after April 1, 2016. This law also requires on and after January 1, 2016, counties and cities implement a recycling program to divert organic waste generated by businesses from landfills. Locally, in April 2017, the County of San Diego released its “Strategic Plan to Reduce Waste,” which includes a near-term goal of 75% waste diversion from landfills. California has also set a goal of deriving 50 percent of the State’s electricity from renewable resources by 2030. These renewable sources include solar, wind, geothermal, small hydropower, and biomass. Because anaerobic digestion is considered a type of biomass energy, the Lakeside Food-Scraps-to-Energy project helps to meet this goal.

How Anaerobic Digestion Works

Anaerobic digestion facilities, which are abundant in the United States and around the world, harness the natural process that occurs when food waste breaks down and generates biogas in the form of methane. Inside of a closed system, the Lakeside Food-Scraps-to-Energy project will facilitate this breakdown process through the action of microbes, and the resulting methane will be captured and used to generate power that will serve the regional electric grid.

Ensuring a Safe, Clean, and Controlled Process

Processing steps will be enclosed, from food scrap delivery to energy production. Scraps are delivered in trucks and either pumped directly into the system or unloaded inside of an enclosed facility. This practice, along with a host of reliable and proven technologies, minimizes any odor and emissions, and keeps food scraps out of sight.The project includes plans for landscaping, lighting and security, hours of operation, parking, storm water, and design of structures, consistent with the Lakeside Design Guidelines.

Project Location

The project site is located in north Lakeside, at 12243 Highway 67, between Johnson Lake Road and Vigilante Road. The project site is currently used for outdoor material and equipment storage. Other types of industrial uses are located nearby. The site is zoned County M58 industrial, which allows for the Food-Scraps-to-Energy project with a Major Use Permit.

Lakeside Food-Scraps-to-Energy Project