Accelerating the Deployment of Anaerobic Digestion to Meet Zero Waste Goals

TitleAccelerating the Deployment of Anaerobic Digestion to Meet Zero Waste Goals
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsAndrew Satchwell, Corinne Scown, Sarah J Smith, Jahon Amirebrahimi, Ling Jin, Thomas W Kirchstetter, Nancy J Brown, Chelsea V Preble
JournalEnvironmental Science & Technology
Date Published11/2018

The U.S. places approximately 53% of its total municipal solid waste (MSW) in landfills, but state and local governments across the country are now setting ambitious environmental and waste diversion policies requiring, among other things, diversion and utilization of organics. Municipalities across the U.S. are employing anaerobic digestion (AD) as part of their strategy to divert organic MSW from landfills, produce biogas, and yield other beneficial co-products such as compost and fertilizer. However, AD faces many technical, regulatory, and economic barriers to greater deployment, including upstream waste contamination, local odor and air pollution concerns, lengthy siting and permitting processes, and requirements and sizeable costs for interconnecting to the electric grid. We identify a combination of scientific, operational, and policy advancements that are needed to address these barriers.