Clean Energy Toolkit Topic: Develop Anaerobic Digestion

With a commercial food waste ban going into effect in Massachusetts in October 2014, businesses and institutions are considering alternatives to disposing of organic waste in the trash. Anaerobic digestion is one such alternative. Similar to composting, but in an environment devoid of oxygen, anaerobic digestion produces byproducts such as methane (which can fuel the generation of heat or electricity) and liquid or solid digestate (which can be used as fertilizer, soil amendment, and more). Thus, disposal of food waste and other organic materials can become a source of revenue rather than just an expense. Anaerobic digestion/combined heat and power (AD/CHP) may sometimes be referred to as waste-to-energy, bioenergy, biofuel, or biomass, although these broader terms can include the burning of trash, wood, or other agricultural materials. This strategy outlines considerations for municipalities interested in developing anaerobic digestion/combined heat and power. Read more.