Trash may fuel growth of jobs, fish, vegetables in Keene
The Keene Transfer Station and its full-scale recycling facility sits seven miles from downtown, near the border of Surry, and has been operating “off the grid” for more than a decade after the city bought a generator. It’s powered by methane gases from an old landfill on the property.
The transfer station only uses 190-kilowatts, at its peak, generated by the 250-kilowatt generator, Watson said.
Two years ago, the city received a $500,000 grant from the federal Environmental Protection Agency Climate Showcase Communities program to explore different options for reducing greenhouse-gas emissions.
“We couldn’t find anything that proved to be economically feasible till this project came along,” Watson said. “It looks to be very promising, (producing) many, many thousands of pounds of produce in addition to many thousands of pounds of fish,” could be harvested from the proposed aquaculture facility each year.
The easily grown and harvested tilapia fish would also be grown and sold locally, and the fish waste would make a perfect fertilizer for the plants, Watson said.
Watson said city officials don’t know yet if the project would generate any significant revenue for the city, but they are excited about creating jobs and taking advantage of the excess energy.
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