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Waste hauled from Bend brewers, restaurants, other sources could generate power one day

(Update: adding video, comment from city utility department)

'These are resources. They're not waste products, in the modern way of thinking.'

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Ever thought about how liquid waste from a brewery can actually be used on a farm?

While some of the brew waste ends up going to city treatment facilities, a lot of it has to be trucked out, but it can then be used for agricultural needs.

Christina Davenport, the city's industrial pre-treatment program manager, told NewsChannel 21 Tuesday, “Their high-strength brew waste is land-applied, and I believe it’s like six or eight truckloads a day just from Deschutes Brewery.”

But Davenport said there’s becoming an excess of liquid hauled waste from breweries, restaurants, septic systems and portable toilets. 

“We estimate 7.5 million gallons of a slurry of septic waste, portable toilet waste and fat, oils and grease that are commingled and land-applied every year,” she said.

And as the city grows, so does the excess.

“As the tourist numbers go up, as the restaurant numbers go up, portable toilet use increases -- the numbers go up every year,” Davenport said. 

Now the city is looking at hiring engineers to produced an analysis and find better ways of getting rid of the excess liquid waste. It's an item on Wednesday night's city council consent agenda, where items are usually (but not always) approved without council discussion

"These are resources," Davenport said. "They're not waste products, in the modern way of thinking."

And she hopes one of the solutions could be using it for power generation.

"One of the potentials they're looking at is maybe doing a partnership with the county landfill and co-digesting food waste, brewery waste and FOG (fats, oil and grease) waste,” she said. “There's very good amendments to add this liquid waste to food waste and generate power."

The agreement with Leeway Engineering Solutions will cost the city no more than $211,410.

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Jack Hirsh

Jack Hirsh is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Jack here.



  1. Hmmm, maybe we could delay/postpone some of the Septic to Sewer conversions as that is added strain on our wastewater treatment facilities that isn’t as time sensitive as what they are focusing on. Maybe the city can get a waiver from the State on our conversion schedule?

  2. Word on the street is that the County will soon build a new dump at the corner of E. Highway 20 and Rickard Rd. That explains the expensive paving of little-used Rickard Rd. this Summer.

    1. Why do you think the City has the mess they have? They used the local engineer last time they expanded the sew plant and it ended up costing the an extra 14 million dollars. Let’s Go Brandon.

      1. The city creates their own problems and then need all the surveys engineers study and what ever else they can get to fix problems they don’t fix but only make them worse.

  3. Well, the breweries consume a selfish amount of a natural resource that belongs to ALL OF US not them exclusively, and they make a pretty decent profit on said natural resource. I don’t know how many of you are aware, but we are in a serious climate crisis right now, and it’s not liberal or a conservative agenda, it’s a human race agenda! The water is drying up folks, the rains aren’t here, the mountains are bare, please wake up. It’s time for a serious audit of our wasteful water usage.

    1. If we don’t use the water it ends up in the ocean and the seas will rise. Better hope we use every drop of water we can or your home town of New York will be flooded. Let’s Go Brandon.

    2. The breweries also provide many jobs and generate a large amount of tax revenue for the city, county, state that keeps our community chugging along. As for “climate crisis”, to think man kind has an effect or can engineer Mother Nature is a very narcissistic way to look at something we cannot control, but it is a common trait in people now-a-days. Our planet including its climate will do what’s is going to do regardless of the inhabitants. But, in a positive light at least this end of times fear mongering aka “climate crisis” does create more jobs and said tax revenue. So, pour us all a pint of the green beer!

  4. For $200k my dumb ass could come up with an effective remedy. Seems like a waste (no pun intended) of tax payer money to pay a firm to come up with ideas on how to get rid of it. Maybe the city engineers, pretreatment, wastewater manager or public works director could figure something out. If not, what good are they?

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