Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has granted more than $460,000 to support the construction of a nearly complete anaerobic digestor on the Maryland Food Center campus in Jessup, reports WBALTV.
The Bioenergy DEVCO facility is set to be the largest anaerobic digestor in the state and will help support efforts to curb solid waste and greenhouse gas emissions from landfills.
As reported by WJZ, the new facility is a public-private partnership that began with a land lease between the parties, key regulatory support from the Maryland Department of the Environment and the approval of the Board of Public Works in February 2018.
"This state-of-the-art facility will allow Howard County and our administration to address the challenges of organics and landfills and incineration, but also dramatically reduce the impact these wastes have on greenhouse gas emissions," Howard County Executive Calvin Ball said.
"This is really a cow's stomach on a very, very large scale. The same microbes in a cow's stomach process our organic material, and that turns it into renewable energy and a compost-like fertilizer," said Shawn Kreloff, CEO of Bioenergy DEVCO.
The facility will utilize microbes to process material and convert it on a large scale.
"The natural gas gets cleaned up and gets put back into Baltimore Gas and Electric's pipeline directly, so people can use it to heat homes and make energy," Kreloff said.
The resulting compost material will get put into bags for farms to use in agriculture. The digester will have the capacity to divert nearly 115,000 tons a year of organic residuals from landfills and incineration.
"Every consumer benefits when we save more and waste less. This means that the cost of managing trash and the environmental cost of landfills is going to continue to decrease with projects like this," Maryland Environment Secretary Ben Grumbles said.
The facility will also create approximately 30 to 50 full-time jobs, including construction and long-term maintenance and operation jobs.