Massachusetts food disposal ban celebrated at Barstow Farm in Hadley, where cows produce biogas

by Mary Serreze, Special to The Republican
October 3, 2014

Massachusetts officials brought their “Food Waste Ban Full Harvest Tour” to Hadley on Friday with a visit to Barstow’s Longview Farm, the site of an innovative waste-to-energy project.

The farm’s anaerobic digester takes manure and food waste and converts it into methane gas, which in turn powers a 300-kilowatt on-site generator. Most of the electricity produced is sold to the grid, and the rest powers the dairy farm operation. The by-product of the fermentation process is used as fertilizer.

Friday’s outdoor gathering marked the kickoff of a commercial food waste ban in Massachusetts landfills. Starting Oct. 1, businesses and institutions producing more than one ton of food waste per week were no longer able to just throw it away. The waste must be diverted or re-purposed – sent, for instance, to composting facilities, food banks, farms for livestock feed, or to anaerobic digesters like the one at Barstow’s.

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