Plans to construct a facility that will turn organic waste into usable biogas have been approved by officials in Hennepin County, Minnesota, reports the Sun Current.
The anaerobic digestion facility will process household and commercial waste including food scraps, soiled paper and compostable products, which comprise about 30 percent of the municipal solid waste collected in the county.
Set to be located next to the county’s Brooklyn Transfer Station, the facility will be constructed with the county’s current waste collection goals in mind. As reported by the Sun Current, the county’s Solid Waste Management Plan includes a goal of recycling 75 percent of waste by 2030, an aspiration that will require organics recycling.
Also part of that effort, beginning in 2022, cities in the county with populations over 10,000 will be required to provide residents with an option for household organics collection.
The anaerobic digestion facility is expected to have a processing capacity of 25,000 tons of matter per year, with the possibility of expansion to 50,000 tons.
“There is a finite amount of room that we can shove trash into,” District 1 Commissioner Jeff Lunde, of Brooklyn Park, told the Sun Current. “And if we can get stuff out of the system and turn it back into energy, I think that’s a good thing.”
District 3 Commissioner Marion Greene, of St. Louis Park, said she hopes the renewable gas product will serve “the hardest-to-decarbonize uses,” such as heavy industry, to maximize the environmental benefit.
The board approved the appropriation of $43.5 million for the facility’s construction. The county plans to pursue $21 million in state general obligation bonds to help fund the project, a request that stands a good chance of success, given the facility’s regional significance.