New Jersey environmental officials have considered a plan for converting organic waste into biogas and fertilizer, reports nj.com
The Department of Environmental Protection has given Trenton Biogas an approval to begin the operation at a plant on Duck Island.
This particular site was built decades ago with the aim of turning sewage sludge into fertilizer, with a public finance contribution of more than $80 million, but no progress made so far.
Trenton Biogas officials plan to process up to 100,000 tons of food waste annually.
New Jersey generates about 1.5 billion tons of food scraps every year, which is an abundant commodity. The company expects to offer universities and supermarkets, a more economical alternative than landfills for disposal of their organic waste.
Trenton Biogas authorities aim their plant to become the destination for Princeton’s organic waste, being transported to Delaware for processing, and initiate other municipalities to follow Princeton’s way in collecting such material.
The process of keeping food waste from other trash for separate collection may be difficult at first, and officials may have a tough time convincing residents. The food waste that does end up in landfills is already converting to more potent methane.
In case, waste is sent to a facility such as the Trenton Biogas, the byproduct can be harvested as a resource to convert into electricity.
According to the U.S Department of Agriculture, about 2,100 biogas systems are operating across the country. Federal officials estimate there is the potential for at least 10,000 more.
However, the startup costs are delaying U.S. expansion of an industry that already has a firm foothold in Europe.
Company still needs air and wetlands permits, as well as construction permits to retrofit the plant on Lamberton Road.
It has an available facility, a range of suppliers in nearby area and a complete solution for responsibly recycling 250 pounds of food every year.