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Howard County Exec. Calvin Ball Hosts Roundtable at Bioenergy Devco’s New Anaerobic Digestion Facility in Jessup

June 21, 2021

Howard County Exec. Calvin Ball hosts roundtable at Bioenergy Devco’s new anaerobic digestion facility in Jessup

Business and economic leaders join to discuss the economic and environmental benefits of anaerobic digestion

(Jessup, MD) - The Howard County Economic Development Authority, County Executive Calvin Ball and Bioenergy Devco (BDC) executives gathered with local business leaders this morning at Bioenergy Devco’s newest anaerobic digestion facility in Jessup to discuss impacts and solutions related to Maryland’s growing food waste challenges. Located on the campus of the Maryland Food Center Authority, the facility will be the state’s largest anaerobic digester of its kind when operations go live before the end of this year.

“Utility-scale anaerobic digestion is good for the planet and good for business – a real environmental and economic gamechanger. Bioenergy Devco is excited to be a part of the solution in Maryland. We are here to help businesses, institutions and municipalities reduce and stabilize waste disposal costs and comply with Maryland’s new organics diversion law, while reducing our collective carbon footprint,” said Shawn Kreloff, Bioenergy Devco’s CEO.

As awareness across the country and in Maryland grows around the harmful environmental, social and economic impacts of food waste, anaerobic digestion (AD) is quickly becoming the preferred, sustainable method for diversion of organic waste from landfills, incineration and land application. Last month, Maryland became the latest among a growing number of states to address the problem by requiring businesses to recycle food residuals with passage of HB264/SB483, Organics Recycling and Waste Diversion.

Many of Howard County’s food producers and organics waste generators will be impacted by HB264/SB483, which requires commercial entities that generate at least two tons per week of food residuals (one ton per week beginning in 2024) and are located within 30 miles of an organics recycling facility like Bioenergy Devco’s AD facility, to separate and divert food residuals away from final disposal in landfills and incinerators.

“This project is great for Howard County, great for the state of Maryland and an inspiration for the nation around what can be done to solve mounting waste challenges,” said County Executive Ball. “This is an excellent example of the type of innovation that will drive economic growth today and helping protect our environment tomorrow.”

A recent report by the Environmental Integrity Project, subsequently validated by the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE), found that landfills are the leading source of methane emissions in Maryland, accounting for 37% of the state’s overall methane emissions. This is a significant increase from the state’s previous estimates that only 13% of methane emissions came from landfills. The state has also grappled in recent years to address carbon dioxide (CO2) and other emissions from incineration.

In stark contrast, anaerobic digestion is a carbon-negative biological process that allows for the diversion of organic waste from landfills and incinerators while generating clean, renewable energy to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and help meet the state’s zero waste goals. 

The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) estimates that the state generates roughly 998,630 tons of food waste each year, of which only a small percentage is discarded rather than recycled. As a result, food waste is typically the first or second-largest component within any municipal solid waste stream, disposed of through unsustainable means such as incineration and crowded landfills.

BDC’s new Jessup facility will be capable of recycling 110,000 tons of organics annually, or 330 tons per day, to produce approximately 265,000 mmBTUs of renewable natural gas for energy and 20,000 tons of rich, fertile soil amendment for agricultural and other land use. The resulting 26,000 tons of carbon dioxide saved from the atmosphere each year has the same environmental impact that a forest area 40 times the size of Central Park provides.  The energy produced can power 4,800 homes annually. BDC is currently exploring development of additional digesters across the state to meet anticipated demand resulting from the new organics diversion legislation.

About Bioenergy Devco

Bioenergy Devco is a global leader in the finance, design, build and operations of anaerobic digesters. With more than 230 plants built in its 23-year history and 150 facilities operated and maintained across 5 countries, BDC’s state-of-the-art anaerobic digestion technology has helped businesses, municipalities and entire regions dramatically change their organic waste ecosystems, reduce waste at landfills and incinerators and produce sustainable, renewable energy. An unwavering commitment to global and hyper-local sustainability is the inspiration behind our relentless pursuit of industry-leading innovation. For more information, visit www.bioenergydevco.com.


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