Preserving the Environment

New York City’s Garbage Could Heat Your Building

January 28, 2014
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New York City’s Garbage Could Heat Your Building
A new program by the Department of Environmental Protection is turning waste into energy.

If you live in Brooklyn, your uneaten apple core or pizza crust could soon be heating your home and helping the planet. New York City’s Department of Environmental Protection has been working to launch a new program in which compostable waste is carted off to a wastewater treatment plant instead of a landfill. The waste is then treated to produce bio-gas, which can help keep buildings warm in the winter. Not only does this save energy that would otherwise come from burning fossil fuel, but it also prevents methane from being released into the atmosphere. The program could eventually use as much as 15% of the organic trash in the whole city and heat up to 5,000 homes. “Since organic material makes up approximately 30% of the waste stream, recovering food waste for biogas production can enable municipalities to significantly reduce the amount of material sent to landfills,” Rachel Amar of Waste Management told Fast Company.

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