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First large digester in Long Island, N.Y. to process food waste into clean energy

Staff writer ▼ | September 1, 2015
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the launch of an anaerobic digester project on Long Island that will serve as an innovative model of how clean, on-site power can significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support sustainable communities.
Yaphank Suffolk County
Clean energy   On-site power can significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions
By providing Long Island with a local clean energy generation resource, the project aligns with Governor Cuomo’s Reforming the Energy Vision, the State’s comprehensive energy strategy to build a clean, resilient and affordable energy system for all New Yorkers.

The new anaerobic digester will be operated by American Organic Energy at Long Island Compost’s 62-acre facility in Yaphank, Suffolk County and 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 approximately 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, contributing to harmful greenhouse gas emissions. The digester will convert these waste streams to clean energy, clean water to be used for plant processes, and solid-based fertilizer.

Anaerobic digestion is a biological process that occurs when organic matter is decomposed by bacteria in the absence of oxygen. During the decomposition process, the biogas released can be recovered, treated and used to generate energy in place of traditional fossil fuels.