Organic waste generated from industrial sweet potato canning is estimated to be 30% of incoming raw material with significant residual carbohydrate content. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the potential of waste generated from sweet potato processing material to support the growth of lactic acid bacteria and the production of lactic acid. The waste was comprised of 16.5% solids consisting of 18.5% ash, 4.4% protein, 20.5% simple sugars and 19% soluble starch. Following a screening of three lactic acid bacteria strains, Lactobacillus rhamnosus was deemed the best candidate for lactic acid production. The potential of various dilutions of the enzyme-hydrolysed waste, with and without pH control, as a fermentation substrate was evaluated. Lactic acid production was highest in hydrolysed waste (without dilution) at pH set point 5.0, yielding 10 g L−1 in 72 h. Thus, lactic acid, a valuable organic compound, can be generated from sweet potato waste.