The New York City metro area’s first large-scale waste-to-energy project will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about 40,000 tons annually, according to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who recently announced the launch of the anaerobic digester.
The project is located at Long Island Compost’s 62-acre facility in Yaphank, New York.
The state has awarded the $40 million project a $1.3 million grant through the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a program that supports multiple clean energy projects, Forester Daily News reports.
American Organic Energy will operate the digester, which will process over twice as much food waste as currently processed at any existing privately owned food waste digesters accepting offsite food waste in New York state.
The project will accept about 120,000 tons of food waste, 30,000 tons of fats, oils and greases, and 10,000 tons of grass clippings from the Long Island region annually that would otherwise have been transported and dumped into landfills. The digester will convert these waste streams to clean energy, clean water to be used for plant processes and solid-based fertilizer.
The electric power needed to run the digester and the existing facility will be generated using biogas from the project. Long Island Compost also plans to convert the biogas to renewable natural gas that will be used to fuel its trucks on-site, reducing diesel consumption by 200,000 gallons annually. An additional 1.9 million gallons of diesel per year will be offset by injecting the remaining renewable gas produced by the digester into the National Grid natural gas pipeline on Long Island. This will enable the gas to be used to fuel compressed natural gas vehicles in other areas.
The project is part of the Cleaner, Greener Communities program, a statewide initiative encouraging communities to incorporate sustainability goals and principles into local plans and projects. It is scheduled to be completed in August 2016.