The CivicCorps job training program in Oakland is doing double duty: recycling food waste for renewable energy and teaching valuable life skills to youth.
The program has young workers learning to recycle food waste from restaurants into energy to power homes in the Bay Area via the Eastbay Municipal Utilities District (MUD).
"We realized that can recycle kind of these new urban wastes and do it in a way that provides us with renewable energy at the same time," says Andrea Pook, Eastbay MUD Spokeswoman.
For, William Montoya and Fua Fatai, two members of the CivicCorps program, it’s made a difference. Both say before they started learning to recycle food waste, they weren’t doing much with their lives.
"I see this as a stepping stone, you know, and just opening up doors for me in the future. It's exciting to know that I'm part of something big," said Fatai. "This program actually saved me from doing a lot of bad stuff. I focus on my future, my family, my son," Montoya said.
CivicCorps' Bruce Groulx is proud of this program and these men.
"We take society's waste, recycle it, as well as recycle young people's lives," he said.