North Elba’s Food Waste Recycling Plan – First in NY

The Town of North Elba is embarking on a project to develop a source separated organics recycling program for the region….  Tammy Morgan teaches Environmental Science and Biology at Lake Placid High School.. She says they’ve received a grant to develop a source separated organics recycling program for the North Elba Region. The Project highlights the environmental and economic benefits of diverting local food and yard waste from restaurants and businesses currently being transported to distant landfills. “There are three different products created by the proposed Anaerobic Digester,” Morgan told the North Elba Board on Tuesday, “Those three products include a Biogas, which will then be burned in a generator to produce electricity for the town.. The Digestate, The Solid and Liquid component coming out of the digester will be separated into two parts, the liquid will be used to fertilize the playing fields in the town and the solids will be mixed into the current composting process. North Elba currently pays over $55 per ton for transporting and tipping fees. Councilman Bob Miller says with this grant, North Elba will become the first Municipal Government across the United States to do this.

AUDIO – 031314 – North Elba’s Food Recycling Project

031314 - North Elba Recycles - SLIDE

Morgan added that one of the goals of her project is to develop projects that have several key components.. one of which focuses specifically on whole systems.. The goals for the project include;

* Diverting 900 tons of organic material from landfills annually

* Generating Income by producing marketable products like electricity

* Creating green jobs in the repidly growing field of bioenergy

* Make the Lake Placid / North Elba region a model for other communities (thus bringing in conventions, visitors and green tourism)

* Providing a sustainable (Long-term) solution to the large portion of our solid waste generated in the region.

one piece of the planning which still needs be discussed in the planning is the establishment of a system that separates out the food waste..  Morgan says they’ve partnered with Casella Waste Management for this portion of the project..

According to the data Tammy says the average person in 1960 was producing 2.68 pounds of waste per day.. and today, that same person according to the data is producing 4.43 pounds per person per day…. That represents 1,617 pounds per year per person..   33% of that is food waste, Plastics that don’t make it to recycling represent 27 percent of waste.. Non recyclable paper and paper board represents 25.93% of the waste..  

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.