Download Monterey Regional Waste Management District Project Information (PDF)

2014 Award Winner of the California Resource Recovery Association’s “Dave Hardy Leadership in Organics – Facility” category

Under a long-term agreement, Zero Waste Energy (ZWE) partnered with Monterey Regional Waste Management District (MRWMD) to design and build the first U.S. based anaerobic digestion (AD) SMARTFERM plant.  ZWE operates the facility, which includes four AD digesters used to convert up to 5,000 tons per year (TPY) of organic waste into biogas that will provide power and heat for MRWMD’s use and be sold to the neighboring Monterey Regional Water Pollution Control Agency.  The SMARTFERM will also provide high-quality compost to local farms.

Operations began in February 2013 and include:

  • 4 x 40′ dry anaerobic digesters
  • Up to 5,000 tons per year of organic waste throughput
  • Containerized 100 kW combined heat & power system
  • Package bio-filter and roof mounted external biogas storage bladder
  • Separate enclosed and negatively aerated receiving bay
  • 21-day batch process transforms waste into biogas and high quality digestate  for compost





Marina Horizontal


  • Extraction of renewable energy from organics during the compost process
  • Reduction in odor
  • Generation of high quality compost available to county agriculture growers
  • Generation of excess electrical power to be sold to neighboring utility Monterey Regional Water Pollution Control Agency (MRWPCA)
  • Reduction in volume of organic waste in landfills
  • Reduction of fugitive methane emissions from landfills

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