New anaerobic digestion facility receives permit approval in Connecticut
- Turning Earth LLC has received permit approval from Connecticut's Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to build and operate a new anaerobic digestion facility in the town of Southington, as reported by WNPR.
- The $20 million facility will use an integrated system of dry fermentation high solids anaerobic digestion and in-vessel composting to process up to 54,000 tons of food scraps and 20,000 tons of yard waste per year.
- Turning Earth aims to be operational by the second quarter of 2018 to accept residential and commercial material from 16 area municipalities.
This is one of multiple new facilities opening in Connecticut, spurred in part by the state's organics diversion requirement for large generators within 20 miles of a processing facility. Turning Earth's proximity to multiple highways and cities will put it in a good position to help businesses comply with this law.
Organics processing facilities continue to grow at a steady pace, particularly in states that have diversion requirements. With any of these projects, having a way to earn revenue from byproducts as well as tip fees is a key factor. In addition to the standard creation of compost and biogas — which can be converted into lucrative renewable natural gas — Turning Earth will also be growing produce at an on-site greenhouse. This can create more revenue for the facility, while also ensuring demand for the compost and energy it creates.
As Connecticut works toward a goal of 60% diversion by 2024, the state is looking at a range of options including a new product stewardship bill or an increase in container redemption rates. Organics diversion holds some of the greatest potential for achieving this goal and the success of facilities like Turning Earth could help encourage more projects to help make it happen.
Follow Cole Rosengren on Twitter