New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced a new anaerobic digester at Long Island Compost’s facility in Yaphank in a bid to curb greenhouse gas emissions by 40,000 tons per year.

food waste

To be operated by American Organic Energy, the digester will process food waste into clean energy, clean water to be used for plant processes, and solid-based fertilizer.

It will be capable of processing close to 120,000 tons of food waste, 30,000 tons of fats, oils and greases, and 10,000 tons of grass clippings from the Long Island region every year.

Anaerobic digestion is a biological process that occurs when organic matter is decomposed by bacteria in the absence of oxygen.

During the decomposition process, the biogas released can be recovered, treated and used to generate energy that can be used as a substitute to traditional fossil fuels.

Cuomo said: "This exciting project is yet one more way we’re investing in a sustainable energy future and building a cleaner and greener New York.

"This first-of-its kind project for Long Island and the greater New York metropolitan area will build upon this administration’s commitment to expand the state’s use of renewable energy and reduce our carbon footprint."

The project forms a part of the state’s sustainable initiative Cleaner, Greener Communities program.

The digester and the existing facility will be powered using the biogas generated from the project.

Long Island Compost also plans to convert the biogas to renewable natural gas that will be used to fuel its trucks on-site.

Image: The anaerobic digester will process food waste into clean energy and clean water. Photo: courtesy of Muu-karhu / Wikipedia.