goal Resource Solutions
To help our customers achieve their waste and recycling goals, we are called to provide increasingly specialized expertise and infrastructure. Our Resource Solutions team brings unparalleled knowledge, skills, and passion to serve their customers’ resource management needs. The group also operates recycling and organics recovery facilities that capture over a million tons of material from the waste stream every year.
We tailor our Resource Solutions to meet the needs of customers in four key segments: industrial, higher education and healthcare, municipal, and commercial. Recent success stories are presented in the case studies below.
HIGHER EDUCATION & HEALTHCARE
Phillips Academy Andover is a university-preparatory boarding school in Massachusetts with a deep-rooted commitment to waste reduction, sustainability, and education. Since 2015 Casella has implemented resource management services including food waste services and surplus furniture donation. The campus’ Green Move Outs and year-round donation collection efforts alone recover over 30 tons per year.
Aubuchon Hardware is a longstanding customer with Casella waste and recycling bins behind 94 store locations throughout the northeast. Some Aubuchon customers may soon find us in the front of stores too, with our earthlife® compost products becoming available for sale as part of an innovative pilot at select locations. With our earthlife products, we transform organic residuals into valuable soil products for farm, garden, and landscaping projects.
Nestlé Purina has been making high-quality pet food brands at its Allentown, PA, factory for over 80 years. With Casella’s support, Purina’s factory is achieving its ambitious waste management goals. Casella is able to separate materials to be recycled or used for anaerobic digestion and has installed balers and optimized logistics. By focusing on finding beneficial uses for materials that would have otherwise been discarded, Purina and Casella are helping drive toward a more circular economy.
The Town of Fairfax, VT has long worked with Casella to provide waste and recycling services to its residents. In 2020, the municipality furthered its program with the addition of curbside food waste collection and a mobile phone app. Since July 1st, the community has recovered over 125 tons of recyclables and food waste, 371 community members have downloaded the mobile app, and residents have completed over 2,100 searches to learn what is recyclable in their town.
goal Renewable Energy
With the right infrastructure, society’s waste can become a valuable source of renewable energy. Casella began investing in that infrastructure in 2008, when our first landfill-gas-toenergy power plants came online. We have continued to advance the infrastructure through ongoing investments in our gas collection systems and through collaborations with renewable energy partners.
Today, the gas from six of our landfills goes to on- and offsite power plants that yield over 214,000 megawatt-hours (MWh) of electricity. This is enough electricity for 28,000 homes. It is nearly ten times the amount of electricity consumed by all of our 130+ facilities combined.
The next wave of renewable energy infrastructure at our facilities is likely to consist of renewable natural gas (RNG) projects. Rather than using gas to make electricity, these projects refine and compress landfill gas to produce RNG, which can be flexibly used for a variety of off-site uses, including electricity production, home heating, or even vehicle fueling.
On a much smaller but still important scale, we have other options for capturing renewable energy at our facilities. One example is the 12-acre solar farm, owned by Borrego Solar, that is located at our landfill in Coventry, VT. Another example is the innovative landfill heat recovery system that we built to heat our maintenance shop at our landfill in Bethlehem, NH.
In the coming years, through direct investments and third party collaborations, we will capture more energy from society’s waste, with a goal to double the renewable energy yield of our facilities by 2030.
Recycling Saves Energy
Recycling is an important strategy for energy conservation. This is because extracting raw materials from the environment uses a lot of energy. When society makes new products with recycled materials instead, the energy demand is much lower.
How much lower? According to EPA data, one ton of mixed recyclables will save an average of 4.3 MWh of energy throughout the supply chain. Using EPA factors, we can calculate the energy benefit of the materials we recover.
Although it is not as visible as an array of solar panels, recycling reduces the overall amount of energy required to make new products, making our society less energy intensive, thus making a renewably powered future more achievable.
the annual electricity output of 5 home solar systems