A long-anticipated groundbreaking ceremony took place on Friday amidst Vermont’s first snow storm of the season. While more snow was likely shoveled than dirt, construction has officially kicked off for the Middlebury Resource Recovery Center (MRRC) in Middlebury, Vermont. The industrial organic waste treatment center will convert food and beverage residuals and wastewater into renewable energy and treated water to provide a lower cost, greener alternative for food and beverage waste disposal.
The project includes an anaerobic digester, a generator to produce renewable electricity from digester biogas, and a related building and piping. The facility will serve Middlebury based food and beverage producers – such as Cabot/Agri-Mark and Vermont Cider Company – by a connected pipeline, and others within approximately 50 miles by road. The heart of the facility is PurposeEnergy’s patented Tribrid-Bioreactor™ which converts organics in food and beverage waste into biogas, resulting in the generation of more than one megawatt of renewable electricity for Vermont homes and businesses.
The project will result in significant environmental benefits:
- The MRRC will treat approximately 80,000 gallons per day of food waste and wastewater, converting over 90% of the organic content into renewable biogas, which will directly offset fossil fuel use.
- The MRRC is estimated to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by >2,000 tons CO2e/year, primarily by the elimination of more than 270 truck trips each month.
- Over 60 tons per year of Phosphorus will be sequestered at the facility, removing the risk of run-off to Otter Creek and Lake Champlain.
- The process sequesters Phosphorous and other valuable nutrients into solid fertilizer that will be removed from the digester periodically. This solid fertilizer can be added to compost to increase its value or be directly applied to fields by local farms growing corn and bean crops – thereby reducing the use of chemical fertilizer.
PC’s partnership with PurposeEnergy began nearly 15 years ago to bring anaerobic digestion to South Burlington food and beverage producers. We are excited to now embark on a similar journey to help further this innovative and sustainable process in Vermont.