BAY LAKE, FLA., Feb. 20, 2014 – Harvest Power today unveiled the Central Florida Energy Garden, an organics management and renewable energy facility that is the first of its kind in the U.S., converting organic waste into renewable biogas and natural fertilizers. The anaerobic digester combines a unique set of proven technologies and will divert hundreds of thousands of tons of waste from Central Florida landfills.
Located within the Reedy Creek Improvement District (RCID), the Energy Garden uses anaerobic digestion – a biological process that relies on trillions of naturally occurring bacteria – to produce renewable biogas. When operating at full capacity, the facility will process more than 120,000 tons of organic materials annually while producing 5.4 megawatts of combined heat and power.
“We are immensely proud of the teamwork that transformed this technically sophisticated project from a vision to a reality,” said Alex MacFarlane, vice president of Project Development. “As North American demand for recycling of organic waste grows, this anaerobic digestion facility is a revelation for what is possible. Designed to the highest standards, we hope it will serve as an inspiration for more communities to divert organics from the landfill.”
Harvest Power’s Energy Garden helps businesses and communities across Central Florida reduce and reuse organic material, increase renewable energy production and revitalize soil to boost local agriculture. Restaurants, hotels and food processors throughout the region are now able to send food scraps to the Energy Garden. Walt Disney World Resort – located within RCID – is the facility’s first customer with additional businesses in surrounding communities signing up every day.
“We’re always looking for innovative ways to conserve natural resources and protect the environment,” said Bill Warren, administrator for Reedy Creek Improvement District, which provides governmental services, including utility systems. “Turning organic waste into clean energy is a logical next step toward realizing long-term sustainability goals.”
Food waste disposal is one of North America’s greatest challenges. Currently, compostable organic material makes up the largest and heaviest portion of the overall waste stream in the U.S., according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The majority of organic material is discarded with waste and hauled to distant landfills. In Central Florida, about 24 pounds of food waste enters a landfill every second – or more than 1,000 tons per day.
Harvest Power is also launching a new campaign in Central Florida, encouraging businesses to divert their food waste from landfills and convert it to renewable energy via the Harvest facility. The “Orlando Or Landfill? Responsible Food Recovery” campaign challenges businesses and consumers to “Choose Orlando” to reduce pressure on landfills and help fuel local renewable energy production. Harvest Power works with a variety of municipalities and private haulers to provide simple solutions for food waste recycling.
For more information on this project, visit www.WeChooseOrlando.com.
About Harvest Power
Harvest creates a more sustainable future by helping communities better manage and beneficially re-use their organic waste through the production of renewable energy, and soils, mulches and natural fertilizers. Harvest’s vision is to find the highest and best use for the 500 million tons of organic material produced in North America each year. The company operates organics management facilities in the East and West Coasts of the U.S., and in Ontario and British Columbia, Canada. Harvest has grown rapidly since its founding in 2008 and has garnered awards for its business of recycling, energy generation and soil revitalization. The company has been named to the Global Cleantech 100 four years in a row, received Bloomberg’s 2013 New Energy Pioneer Award and was named in Fast Company’s 50 Most Innovative Companies in the World.
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