NARROWSBURG, NY — The Tusten Energy Committee supplied additional facts about its plan to manage food waste with an anaerobic digester. In an effort to reduce compostable refuse, which …
NARROWSBURG, NY — The Tusten Energy Committee supplied additional facts about its plan to manage food waste with an anaerobic digester. In an effort to reduce compostable refuse, which currently comprises about 30 percent of landfill waste, Tusten will purchase a closed-container micro-anaerobic digester with a New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC) grant of $138,100. The unit’s purchase cost is $102,000; the remaining $36,100 will be applied to training volunteers, food waste collection procedures, collection containers and miscellaneous expenses.
There are no out-of-pocket expenses for the town.
Digester systems make for a “circular economy,” using food waste to produce fertilizer that is then applied to farms and gardens which, in turn, produce food. The fertilizer produced is a nontoxic alternative to chemical fertilizers and is approved by the USDA’s National Organic Program.
The low maintenance digester, an integral part of the town’s Climate Smart Community plan, will be operated by trained volunteers, who can expect to devote between two and four hours to the digester’s twice-weekly feedings. Otherwise, the digester is a self-sustaining system.
This will be the first anaerobic digester in Sullivan County and DEC Region 3. If the town’s solar array is used to provide energy to the unit, Tusten would be the first town in the U.S. with a solar-powered anaerobic digestion system.
This project was endorsed by Sen. Jen Metzger, Rep. Aileen Gunther, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Good Find Farm, The Upper Delaware Council, NYS DEC, Hudson Valley Regional Council, Sustainable Bethel Committee and the Narrowsburg Ecumenical Food Pantry.