Posted on Categories Agriculture/Food System, Climate Change & Energy, Sustainable Living, TransportationTags , , , ,

Petaluma to turn sewage into truck fuel 

Using the latest technology costing millions of dollars, Petaluma will soon be turning to a new source of fuel for powering its fleet of garbage trucks — your toilet.
The California Energy Commission announced this month it was awarding Petaluma $3 million to build a natural gas collection and automotive fueling station at the Ellis Creek Water Recycling Facility, part of an overall $15 million expansion expected for completion in 2018.
The broader work will increase capacity while allowing the plant to take high-strength waste from local industry, creating a scale that Petaluma Environmental Services Manager Leah Walker said was sufficient to process solid waste from city residents and businesses into the foreseeable future.
The project will allow Ellis Creek to keep pace with the massive growth in local breweries, dairy processors and others — companies that generally truck their high-strength waste elsewhere for treatment. Shortening those trips will lower greenhouse gas emissions, as will the eventual switch from most of Petaluma’s diesel-powered garbage trucks to those running on biologically derived natural gas.
Read more at: Petaluma to turn sewage into truck fuel | Petaluma Argus Courier |

Posted on Categories Agriculture/Food SystemTags Leave a comment on Four indicted in Rancho Feeding slaughterhouse scandal

Four indicted in Rancho Feeding slaughterhouse scandal

Robert Digitale and Derek Moore, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Two former owners and two employees of a Petaluma slaughterhouse at the center of an international meat recall have been charged with selling meat from diseased cattle and concealing the elaborate scheme from federal inspectors by swapping out the heads of cows with eye cancer.

Rancho Feeding Corp. co-owner Robert Singleton, 77, of Petaluma, is cooperating with prosecutors and expected to plead guilty to a single count of distribution of adulterated meat, according to court records unsealed Monday.

His former partner, Jesse “Babe” Amaral Jr., and two Rancho employees are accused of circumventing U.S. Department of Agriculture inspection procedures and processing the diseased meat in violation of federal law, according to an 11-count federal indictment.

The charges cap an eight-month federal investigation that followed a massive meat recall at the former Rancho plant on Petaluma Boulevard North. The slaughterhouse closed in February after recalling 8.7 million pounds of its beef and veal sold in the United States and Canada — all that was processed there in 2013.

via Four indicted in Rancho Feeding slaughterhouse scandal | The Press Democrat.

Posted on Categories Agriculture/Food System, Sustainable LivingTags , Leave a comment on Petaluma slaughterhouse ceases operations

Petaluma slaughterhouse ceases operations

Robert Digitale, Jamie Hansen & Kevin McCallum, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

A Petaluma slaughterhouse at the center of a growing recall has voluntarily ceased operations while it attempts to track down and retrieve every shipment of beef from the facility over the past year.

The enormous scale of the recall raised questions about the future of the North Bay’s last beef processing facility and set off criticism of federal regulators by local ranchers who rely on Rancho Feeding Corp. to slaughter their cattle.

The recall, which began Jan. 13 and was initially restricted to meat processed on a single day, expanded Saturday to include all 8.7 million pounds of meat processed at Rancho in 2013.

Robert Singleton, who owns Rancho with partner Jesse “Babe” Amaral, on Monday night said the company undertook the recall out of “an abundance of caution” and regrets any inconvenience to customers.

via | Petaluma Argus-Courier | Petaluma, CA.