Environmental Protection

Dairy Waste-to-Biogas Plant Wins NY Award

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation recently recognized Ecovation, a developer of value-driven wastewater treatment and renewable energy solutions, and Breyers Yogurt Co., North Lawrence Dairy with a 2007 Environmental Excellence Award.

Both companies were recognized for the project that treats dairy plant waste in a biogas production system. The state award program acknowledges organizations that are solving environmental challenges using innovative and environmentally sustainable practices or creative partnerships.

In 2005, Breyers Yogurt entered into an agreement with Ecovation to install a waste treatment and renewable energy system at its North Lawrence facility. Ecovation’s patented Mobilized Film Technology system processes high-strength waste streams to generate methane-rich biogas, which is used to offset fossil fuel use in the plant’s production facility.

The facility also accepts dairy byproduct wastes from nearby dairy plants, reducing waste generation in the surrounding community. The system is on track to replace nearly 250,000 gallons of No. 6 fuel oil each year – about 25 percent of the plant’s total usage – with renewable biogas. In addition, the decrease in fossil fuel use has reduced sulfur dioxide emissions by one-third.

“The high costs and environmental impact associated with managing our high-strength waste streams created a need for us to look at treatment alternatives,” said Jay Straight, engineering manager of Breyers. “In working with Ecovation, we developed a renewable energy system that allowed us to become a more sustainable operation and cut approximately one-quarter of our oil use.”

“We worked closely with Breyers to develop a system that specifically matched not only their waste stream but also their business model,” said Diane C. Creel, chairman and CEO of Ecovation. 

Other recipients of the 2007 Environmental Excellence awards include Delphi Thermal Systems, the Gloversville-Johnstown Wastewater Treatment Facility, IBM, the Syracuse City School District, and the Nature Conservancy – Adirondack Park Chapter.

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