David Miles wants your food scraps.
The Bay Area entrepreneur with Back2Earth Technologies says food waste — about 14 millions tons per year in California, or about 15 percent of the materials dumped in landfills — can be converted into biodegradable plastic products instead.
It sounds like a “crazy thing to say,” he told the Green Team San Joaquin business group on Wednesday, but his plan will be commercially viable in six to nine months.
The question is where to find the food waste. Miles said it could come from restaurants, prisons, city waste streams — just about anywhere.
The Safeway distribution center in Tracy might be a good source. Miles said about 270,000 tons of expired Safeway food products are returned to the distribution center each year, then deposited in Vernalis for compost.
He says he could take that food and manufacture the plastic resin used in Safeway packaging. He could even make the very pallets on which the grocery store keeps bread and other products — creating a “round and round it goes” recycling effect.
“It’s a very interesting circle that we’re creating,” he said.