This month, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, County Executive Calvin Ball, Director of Maryland Environmental Service (MES), Charles Glass and representatives from the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) gathered at Bioenergy Devco’s new anaerobic digestion facility in Jessup, Maryland.
“For over six and a half years, Maryland has been setting an example for the nation of strong environmental leadership,” remarked Governor Hogan. “We set a bold goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent by the year 2030, and we’ve been leading by example to achieve that goal. Today as we cut the ribbon on this new Bioenergy Devco facility at the Maryland Food Center Authority, we are taking another step forward” (Devco press release).
Accoriding to a Devco press release:
Bioenergy Devco’s anaerobic digester, located on the Maryland Food Center campus, is a public-private partnership that began with a land lease between the parties and was approved by the Board of Public Works in February 2018. As part of ongoing efforts in Maryland to address the state’s growing solid waste challenges and associated greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) from landfills and incineration, the Hogan Administration later granted more than $460,000 to support construction of the new facility.
This project represents a $25 million capital investment in the state’s green infrastructure and will create approximately 30 – 50 full-time jobs including construction and long-term maintenance and operation jobs. The American Biogas Council estimates that constructing anaerobic digestion facilities to meet Maryland’s clean energy potential would generate as much as $507 million in capital investments, 4,222 new construction jobs, and 280 permanent jobs.
Shawn Kreloff, CEO of Bioenergy Devco, said, “We are excited to offer a more efficient and environmentally responsible path for large-scale organic recycling. We are honored to have our flagship facility here in the state where the community and its leaders understand that what’s good for the environment can also be good for business.”
The digester’s completion represents an important part of building the capacity and infrastructure needed to successfully implement HB264/SB483, Organics Recycling and Waste Diversion – Food Residuals. Passed in last year’s legislative session, the bill will require businesses that generate two tons or more per week of excess food waste to separate and divert food residuals away from final disposal in landfills and incinerators beginning in January 2023.
Unlike landfilling and incineration, anaerobic digestion is a carbon-negative technology that does not emit pollutants. Bioenergy Devco’s Maryland Food Center digester will have the capacity to divert nearly 125,000 tons/year of organic and produce approximately 265,000 MMBtu/year of renewable energy. The process provides the same carbon sequestration impact as a forested area equal to 56 times the size of New York’s Central Park.
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