Resource: Neighborhood Anaerobic Digester
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Title: Neighborhood Anaerobic Digester
Resource type: Program/project
Topics: Business, Communities, Energy, Individual Choices
Keywords: climate change, citizen action, local energy, self-reliance, neighborhood energy, waste reduction
Audience: All
Region: Twin Cities
Summary: Work toward a combined heat and power plant has started with a feasibility study and an organics collection program.
Content: An informal group of Minneapolis citizens got together in 2006 to brainstorm how to build community cohesion and reduce energy waste in their mixed residential/commercial neighborhood. They quickly thought big - build a biomass digester to produce heat and electricity for buildings - but started small, with a pilot project.

In fall 2008 the citizen organizers partnered with the city and Hennepin County to begin collection, from 900 out of 4,000 households, of compostable garbage (called source-separated organics): food scraps, paper towels, pop boxes, paper that's touched food, milk cartons, dryer lint, vacuum bags, and unusable old (non-synthetic) clothes. This will test what could be a source for the digester: a neighborhood-scale device that would compost organic material creating rich fertilizer and methane gas. The methane gas could be used to produce heat for nearby commercial buildings, electricity, or even refined compressed natural gas to fuel CNG vehicles. All that organic material sent to the digester would reduce the volume of waste hauled to landfills/incinerators.

Linden Hills Power and Light's mission is to reduce the local carbon footprint through education and community action, by promoting sustainable energy, waste reduction and energy conservation. Learn more about the pilot and the bigger vision, now being studied for its financial and techncial feasibility (using some MPCA money), at the web site below.

Suggested by: Philipp Muessig
Added: 09/19/08
Updated: 08/16/11