South Windsor Looking To Bring Bio-Recycling Facility To Town

Hartford Courant || December 5, 2017

Town Manager Matthew B. Galligan is working with Quantum Biopower to bring a bio-recycling facility to town.

The Southington-based company opened a $14 million organic waste “anaerobic digestion” plant in that town in January. Food and other organic waste is placed in tanks where microbes eat the material and give off methane as a byproduct. The gas is used to generate electricity with the waste also producing compost.

Galligan said he has been working with the company for the past few months on bringing a regional facility east of the Connecticut River and locate it within the town’s industrial area next to the railroad line. Other area towns would use the facility.

“There is nothing on this side of the river,” Galligan said. “They can capture the market pretty quickly.”

Quantum Biopower vice president Brian Paganini said Wednesday that he liked the “recycling-minded element” in South Windsor. The town has been exploring ways to take food waste out of the waste stream and lowering its tipping fees to haul trash away.

“We are still in the early stages,” Paganini said. “But the town has expressed their desire for a partnership. Now that this [Southington] project is up and running, we are looking to spread our wings.”

Studies have indicated about 22 percent of residential trash is food waste. Connecticut produces more than 500,000 tons of organic waste each year, according to a 2015 study. The state has set a target of a 60 percent reduction in the overall amount of disposed trash by 2024.

Galligan has reached out to large companies and food producers in town like Aldi and supermarkets along with trash haulers. He said the facility will not only bring in revenue to the town and generate power, it will also save the town money by taking sludge from the town’s wastewater treatment plant instead of being hauled off to another facility.

“This facility could take care of that and probably cost us half the cost,” he said. “We are talking about a lot of things that could help reduce the cost to taxpayers in the sense of tipping fees and other things that we would be able to reduce and get some revenue.

“I think it’s doable,” Galligan added. “There’s a lot of interest from the company … It’s an opportunity to get rid of waste.”

Mayor M. Saud Anwar said the proposal would be great for the town’s economic development.

“This is an exciting opportunity,” he said.