The Columbia Biogas anaerobic digestion facility will generate significant environmental benefits including:
- The production of renewable energy and displacement of fossil fuels: locally producing biogas from food waste and hard-to-manage liquid food waste has the potential to generate power for up to 3,000 homes or renewable natural gas with the energy equivalent of 3,000,000 gallons of diesel fuel.
- The reduction of emissions associated with current transportation to landfills: carbon emissions associated with the long-distance hauling of heavy food waste to the Arlington Landfill, a 174-mile roundtrip haul will be avoided.
- Avoidance of the formation and release of methane gas (a highly potent greenhouse gas that is 21 times more powerful than carbon dioxide) associated with the decay of organic waste in landfills.
- The production of naturally derived organic-based fertilizer products: this recycling of nutrients provides the opportunity to close the loop of local food production by displacing conventional fertilizer products produced long distances from Oregon.
- Reduction in the loading of landfills, local sanitary sewer systems and wastewater treatment plants by diverting food scraps, hard-to-manage liquid food waste and expired and spoiled foods from disposal to recycling.
- Recycling of aluminum and steel in packaging removed during the pretreatment process. Longer term plans are to install plastic sorting technology to enable the reuse of plastics separated during the pretreatment process.
- A landmark Good Neighbor Agreement with the surrounding neighborhood associations and businesses that addresses environmental and livability standards that support long-term Facility operations and sustainability.
- Establishment of a job training, recruiting and hiring program with diversity goals and local preferences.
- The establishment of an enhancement fee to support restoration projects in schools, parks, and the ecologically significant Columbia Slough, a narrow waterway and wetland remnant adjacent to the Facility.
- Collaboration with neighborhood groups and schools on restoration and enhancement of water quality and habitat in the adjacent Columbia Slough, a narrow waterway in the Columbia floodplain which is home to salmon, black-tailed deer, western pond turtles, beaver, and river otter.
- The project will create 85 direct jobs during construction and an unknown number of indirect jobs associated with the manufacturing of equipment off-site.
- In the initial years of operation, approximately 15 direct jobs associated with operating the facility and five indirect jobs associated with waste hauling are projected.
Did you know?
The process of converting waste materials or discarded products into new materials or products of better quality or a higher environmental value. The goal of upcycling is to prevent wasting potentially useful materials by making use of existing ones. This reduces the consumption of new raw materials when creating new products. Reducing the use of new raw materials can result in a reduction of energy usage, air pollution, water pollution and even greenhouse gas emissions.