EXETER, Maine — Maine Conservation Alliance presented its Community Climate Champion Award to Exeter Agri-Energy and Agri-Cycle on Sept. 26 for their partnership to produce renewable energy through the anaerobic digestion of local food waste and cow manure from neighboring Stonyvale Farm.
Agri-cycle collects food waste from local businesses and organizations, thereby reducing the waste they send to local landfills. Exeter Agri-energy combines this waste with manure from Stonyvale Farm, Maine’s second largest dairy farm, in its anaerobic digester. The digester captures the biogases created from microorganisms feeding on the organic matter, turns it into fuel for their system, and produces heat and electric power.
“Husson University Dining Services is happy to be partnering with local businesses Agri-Cycle and Exeter Agri-Energy to support sustainable initiatives with regards to reducing waste and creating a renewable energy source,” said Bob Sedgwick, director of Dining Services at Husson University, in a press release. “We look forward to continuing our partnership and new opportunities.”
“Agri-Energy creates renewable power and heat from waste — reducing dependence on fossil fuels and foreign oil,” said Beth Ahearn, Program Director of Maine Conservation Alliance, in the press release. “It also reduces methane gas pollution, a major greenhouse gas, by capturing the methane produced from cow manure.”
Not only are their efforts good for the climate, they’re good for the community. “Unity College has an ambitious waste diversion goal, and diverting all our food service organics to Agri-Cycle is a huge step toward achieving that goal,” said Jennifer deHart, Chief Sustainability Officer at Unity College, in the press release. “We already see an impact: on our move-in day we served over 600 meals but only produce a single bag of refuse. We’re proud to be part of climate solutions in Maine.”
Sam Michaud, Vice President of Operations from Good Shepherd Food Bank, said, “Exeter Agri Energy and Agri-Cycle have helped Good Shepherd Food Bank save resources so that we can help Maine people. They truly care about Mainers and our environment!” Trampas King, Superintendent of Mid Maine Solid Waste Association added, “Our partnership with Agri-Cycle has provided us with an alternative, environmentally sound plan for our food waste disposal.”
The award was given on the eve of oral arguments on EPA’s Clean Power Plan in the US District Court in DC. The Clean Power Plan would reduce carbon by 30percent by 2030.
“The effects of climate change are being felt throughout Maine already, and we need solutions,” said Ahearn. “The Clean Power Plan is on solid legal footing and will prevail.” Now is the time for sustainable innovation to move Maine forward, and these local companies are leading the way.