Groundbreaking Progress: American Organic Energy’s Food Waste Plant

American Organic Energy Logo on navy background.

American Organic Energy (AOE), a long-standing Morey Creative Studios client, broke ground recently on an anaerobic digester at its facility in Yaphank, Long Island.

Years in the making, the project is the first of its kind in the region and, when completed, will be one of the most sophisticated food waste processing facilities anywhere in the world.

“This project is a culmination of years of collaborative efforts on the part of the local community, environmental advocates, government officials and private industry,” said American Organic Energy’s CEO Charles Vigliotti. “It represents the best of what public/private cooperation looks like and will put Long Island center stage in designing a sustainable future.”

A group of people participating in the AOE groundbreaking; everyone is smiling, holding a shovel with dirt and wearing white hardhats emblazoned with the AOE logo.Capable of processing some 180,000 tons of food waste per year, the digester will have a major impact on the environmental footprints of Long Island and the New York City metropolitan area.

According to AOE’s projections, the digester will prevent some 40,000 tons of CO2 per year from being released into the atmosphere—the equivalent to removing almost 10,000 passenger cars from the road.

Additionally, the project is expected to produce 2.0 MW of electricity annually—enough to power 1,500 homes—and approximately 1.9 million diesel gallons equivalent of compressed natural gas (CNG).

One of several local officials and environmentalists to speak at the groundbreaking, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone underscored the importance of the development for Long Island, remarking: “This moves us, I would say, into the 21st century in a leadership role in the country.”

“The days of thousands of massive tractor-trailers driving on our streets, spewing diesel fumes and contaminants, only to create mountains of waste that pollute the drinking water and harm our health, are over,” said Vigliotti. “Today, AOE has begun writing a new environmental history for Long Island, one that will help erase the mistakes of the past and secure a better future.”

Check out CBS New York’s coverage of the story: