Howard County Executive Calvin Ball, the Howard County Economic Development Authority (HCEDA) and Bioenergy Devco (BDC) recently hosted more than 30 government and industry leaders for a roundtable discussion on food recycling, the Route 1 industrial corridor and BDC’s anaerobic biodigestion facility which is currently under construction.

The event was held adjacent to the BDC facility, which will be the first of its kind in Maryland. The site will process more than 100,000 tons of food waste per year converting it into renewable energy and healthy soil amendment. The facility is expected to produce and capture 295,000 MMBtu of methane gas per year; enough to power 4,800 homes a year and save more than 26,000 tons of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere each year, which represents a forest of approximately 33,000 acres.

The project represents $35 million dollars in capital investment and will create approximately 30-50 jobs, including construction and long-term maintenance and operation jobs. The facility is expected to be online by the first quarter of 2022.

As a further benefit to the community, BDC’s biodigestion process is a nitrogen- and phosphorus-rich fertilizer that will provide farms uniquely microbial-friendly fertilizer. “This facility will capture over 120 thousand tons of excess organics typically headed for pollution causing incineration or overcrowded landfills,” said BDC CEO Shawn Kreloff. “County Executive Ball shared the vision depicted by anaerobic digestion that environmental change could in fact go hand in hand with economic development.”