Mass Live recently published an article on the opening of a new anaerobic digestion and depackaging facility in Granville. The facility, which is located on the family-owned Rockwood Farm and was developed by Ag-Grid Energy, will process enough food waste to generate 3.5 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year. The project received outside grant funding, including $500,000 from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, $250,000 from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) and $150,000 from electrical utility Eversource.
Anaerobic digestion is a process where microorganisms break down organic materials such as food scraps, producing both biogas and a soil amendment. In addition to processing manure and waste from the farm, the Granville system currently takes multiple tanker truckloads daily of liquid food waste and grease from nearby factories, such as the Coca-Cola plant in Northampton, Agri-Mark’s butter and dried milk powder plant in West Springfield, and area H.P. Hood dairy plants. As the program continues to develop, Ag-Grid Energy will incorporate other food waste from area schools, hospitals, restaurants, and other businesses.
The farm’s anaerobic digester is co-located with equipment to remove packaging and other contaminants before the organic materials move through the main digester. Rockwood Farm is the second farm in Massachusetts to install a depackaging system on-site. As the facility continues to accept more material, it will provide an additional outlet for commercial and institutional food waste diversion.
RecyclingWorks in Massachusetts (RecyclingWorks) works with the MassDEP to maintain a map of anaerobic digesters and other sites accepting diverted food material in Massachusetts. To connect to an organics processor or learn more about our no-cost assistance for your business or institution, call our hotline: (888) 254-5525 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.