- American Organic Energy is building a $40 million anaerobic digester project on Long Island, NY, which should be up-and-running by August 2016. The digester will be able to process about 160,000 tons of organic waste into natural gas.
- The state awarded the project a $1.3 million grant through the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a program that supports multiple clean energy projects.
- The gas that the site produces will first power the facility itself, and then will be converted to fueling the vehicles delivering the waste to the facility. Any remaining gas will be converted to "pipeline quality natural gas" and placed back on the grid, according to Politico.
Although the majority of the energy produced at the 90,000-square-foot plant will be used to power the plant itself, the main purpose of the waste-to-energy facility is to divert organic waste from the landfill. By keeping this waste out of the landfill, the project will reduce methane levels and ultimately cut 40,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually, according to the state.
"This first-of-its kind project for Long Island and the greater New York metropolitan area will build upon this administration’s commitment to expand the state’s use of renewable energy and reduce our carbon footprint," said Long Island Governor Andrew Cuomo in a statement.
The issue of organic waste being placed in landfills has been a large focus for state organizations, especially the New York City Department of Sanitation. Recently, the city issued new composting rules, requiring arenas, hotel restaurants, and food wholesalers to separate their food waste from other trash and recycling. The rules are expected to divert 50,000 tons fo waste from landfills each year.