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Dickinson project will turn waste into electricity

  • Scott LaMar
Organic waste - putrescent vegetables and fruits

Organic waste - putrescent vegetables and fruits

Airdate: July 27, 2022

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Dickinson College has been a leader in Central Pennsylvania and on college campuses of pursuing and implementing environmentally sustainable practices.

Dickinson’s latest project involves turning cow manure and food waste into bio gas to generate electricity. Groundbreaking for the project is expected this fall and the finished product could be ready to operate by the summer of 2023.

That’s according to Matt Steiman, the energy and livestock projects manager at Dickinson, who appeared on Tuesday’s Smart Talk.

The manure will come from two farms the college owns in South Middleton Township in Cumberland County. Those farms produce organic vegetables and livestock with the food going back to the Carlisle community. Two tons of food waste generated by the college and other partners — some that haven’t been found yet — is needed to go into the bio-digester every day.

If all goes as planned, Steiman said the bio-digester could generate 200,000 to 300,000 kilowatts of electricity each year. That would power the college farms along with a farm lab education building. Surplus electricity could be sold to a local utility.

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