NYC pilot program converts organics into energy
Equivalent of removing 19,000 cars from the road
Brooklyn, N.Y. – In December, the New York City Department of Environmental Protection announced two
partnerships that will reduce the amount of organic waste sent to landfills, while also producing a reliable
source of clean energy and improving air quality.
One of the two partnerships involves a Waste Management initiative that stems from a close collaboration
between the Greater Mid-Atlantic Area and WM’s corporate Organics Recycling team. In the borough of
Brooklyn, the company has begun delivering pre-processed organic food waste to the Newtown Creek
Wastewater Treatment Plant, located in Brooklyn, where it is then added to wastewater sludge to increase
the production of biogas.
The second partnership is with National Grid, an international electricity and gas company, which will
convert the biogas byproduct into pipeline-quality renewable natural gas for residential and commercial
use. Together, these projects have the potential to produce enough energy to:
- Heat nearly 5,200 New York City homes
- Reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions by more than 90,000 metric tons — the equivalent of
removing nearly 19,000 cars from the road
- Help NYC reach its goal of reducing municipal greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by 2017
The announcement was made at the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant in Greenpoint, Brooklyn,
with several key people in attendance: Sergej Mahnovski, director of the Mayor’s office of long term planning
and sustainability; Ken Daly, National Grid president for New York; and Tara Hemmer, WM’s Area Vice
President for the Greater Mid-Atlantic.
“We’re focused every day on helping our customers extract more value from the waste stream,” Hemmer said.
“To support this pilot, we’ve established one of New York City’s first non-composting organics recycling
facilities, which is specifically designed to convert food waste into a clean source of renewable energy. This
initiative marks a significant step toward achieving the city’s long-term sustainability goals.”
Last summer, WM’s Varick I transfer facility began processing organic food waste (collected from local schools)
into a liquefied feedstock using the company’s proprietary Centralized Organic Recycling equipment SM (CORe).
The feedstock created from this process is then delivered to the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant
where it is used to produce biogas — an energy source with many useful applications.
WM is currently processing two tons per day of organic waste at the Varick I facility and plans to increase its volume
up to ten tons per day during the initial pilot. If this phase of the project is successful, there’s potential to raise
capacity even further — 250 tons per day over the next three years.