How Massachusetts Farms Turn Food Waste Into Renewable Energy
By Ally Donnelly and Jim Haddadin
“We’re making power. We’re making money. We’re still in business,”
Americans waste a lot of food. As much as 40 percent of the country’s food supply gets thrown out, according to federal data. That rotting food fills up landfills, and also releases methane, a greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming. Keeping it out of the trash has become a priority in Massachusetts. And for some local farmers, all that discarded food has also become a valuable commodity.
At locations around the state, farmers are transforming food waste into renewable energy using a process that captures methane gas and converts it into electricity. One example is on display at Jordan Dairy Farm in Rutland. Owner Randy Jordan says an anaerobic digester fueled by food waste and manure from his cows generates enough electricity to save tens of thousands of dollars each year.