Rome, NY to accept Chobani waste for digester facility

The city of Rome is planning to enter into an agreement with Chobani to receive high-strength waste at the city’s digester facility.

It’s a move that Rome Mayor Jacqueline Izzo said positions the city to make improvements to their process, earn more money and generate more energy.

“It’s going to bring more waste to our solid waste treatment facility,” she said. “What this is doing is it’s pushing us closer to an anaerobic digester project where we would hopefully be creating enough energy to take that facility off the grid — our whole wastewater treatment plant. … With the addition of a customer, now we feel a lot more confident going forward that not only will we have Chobani, but we will be able to attract others.”

Anaerobic digestion is a natural process in which microorganisms break down organic materials, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Generally, materials such as animal manure, food scraps, fats, oils, greases, industrial organic residuals and sewage sludge can be processed in a digester, the EPA said.

During the process, biogas is produced, which is a renewable energy source that can be used in a number of ways, such as to power engines, produce mechanical power, fuel boilers and furnaces, run alternative fuel vehicles and supply homes and businesses through the natural gas pipeline, according to the EPA. More >>