Solid Waste & Recycling


Walnut farm recognized for sustainable waste management

Three million pounds of walnut shells are diverted annually at Dixon Ridge Farms.

ENGLEWOOD, Colorado – Dixon Ridge Farms was won the Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award (GEELA), the state of California’s highest environmental honour. The organic walnut farm and processing operation’s use of SynTech’s BioMax technology was a key consideration in GEELA’s assessment of Dixon Ridge as advancing sustainable climate change solutions in agriculture.

Established in 1993, the Governors’ awards are given to individuals, organizations and businesses that have demonstrated exceptional leadership and made notable, voluntary contributions towards conserving California’s precious resources, protecting and enhancing its environment, building public-private partnerships and strengthening the state’s economy.

“I’m proud to note that this is our second GEELA award; our first was in 2008, the year we started using a BioMax system and set a goal to be fully energy self-sufficient through increasing our renewable energy production,” said Russ Lester, co-owner of Dixon Ridge Farms and a fourth-generation California farmer.

“SynTech Bioenergy’s technology enabled us to exceed this goal, using 100 per cent of the post-processing walnut shells and diverting three million pounds of shells annually.”

Dixon Ridge Farms worked with the University of California, Davis to determine that their entire operation of 1,400 acres and walnut processing is greenhouse gas and carbon negative, producing about half of the emissions of comparable organic farm systems. By implementing SynTech’s pioneering technology, Dixon Ridge Farms has demonstrated an advanced approach to clean energy in its farming practices and serves as an archetype for sustainable climate action in the agriculture industry.

“Dixon Ridge Farms is a shining example of the environmental and business benefits of bioenergy,” said Wayne McFarland, chairman and CEO, SynTech Bioenergy.

“Russ Lester and his team have used our BioMax technology to transform their agricultural byproduct – in this case, walnut shells – into renewable heat and power since 2008. We are honoured to contribute to their extraordinary achievement of leading the way in energy self-sufficiency in agriculture and would like to congratulate Russ for his visionary leadership which has led to this award.”

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