Covanta Energy and Turning Earth have partnered to provide organics recycling to Connecticut businesses and municipalities.
Under the 10-year agreement, Turning Earth will build, own and operate an integrated organics recycling facility in central Connecticut to which Covanta will divert organic waste for reuse in partnership with municipalities and commercial customers.
The two companies say they will also explore future opportunities in the Connecticut and Massachusetts region.
The facility will be powered by the Aikan Technology, a patented high solids anaerobic digestion (HSAD) and in-vessel composting system that converts organic waste streams into several products including renewable base load energy and compost. Organic waste residuals provided by Covanta will come from Connecticut communities and businesses and will be comprised of yard waste, food waste and other organic waste streams.
The companies expect facility construction to begin in the latter half of 2014 following site selection, the receipt of permits and procurement of organic waste.
Covanta’s energy-from-waste facilities will continue to provide disposal for post-recycled waste. The company says its Connecticut facilities generate renewable energy for more than 34,000 homes in the state and recycle enough metal to build more than 12,000 automobiles annually.
Organics recycling, like energy-from-waste facilities, helps reduce greenhouse gases. When organic waste decomposes in a landfill, it releases methane into the environment, a potent greenhouse gas that is 72 times more powerful than CO2 over a 20-year period.
Reducing and avoiding methane emissions from landfills, which are the third largest source of methane in the US, is one of the best ways to achieve a near-term beneficial impact in mitigating global climate change, Covanta says.
Covanta has also partnered with the Drug Enforcement Administration of Arkansas and Texas to safely destroy more than 44,000 pounds of unwanted medications and turn them into clean energy.
Businesses that use renewable natural gas, or RNG, created from food and yard waste can reduce greenhouse gas emissions up to 90 percent or more by switching from diesel to the clean energy source, according to a guide published last week by nonprofit Energy Vision and funded by the US Department of Energy.
Earlier this month, Clean Energy Fuels became the the first company to commercially distribute a renewable natural gas vehicle fuel made from waste streams such as landfills, large dairies and sewage plants directly to fleets around the country and at 35 public Clean Energy stations throughout California.