Comparison of Select Food Waste Utilization Options

Research output: NRELBrochure


This document provides a comparison of several food waste utilization options: landfill gas capture, anaerobic digestion, and composting, across various metrics. These options are the most prevalent pathways for energy and resource recovery. Other options, not considered here, include food donation, animal feed, incineration, and gasification. The table below describes the differences or similarities between these processes and provides information about products, the number of current projects in the United States, capital and operation and maintenance (O&M) costs, job development potential, emissions, and incentives associated with each pathway, as well as other parameters, such as level of complexity, land requirement, and revenue type. Sources for the data in the table are listed in the references at the end of the document.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages6
StatePublished - 2021

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/BR-6A20-81024


  • anaerobic digestion
  • composting
  • food waste
  • landfill gas


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