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Sallan Foundation YouTube Curated Content

Torchlight

May The Force Be With Us

By Nancy Anderson, Ph.D.

A long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away… make that December 2013 in New York, a targeted expansion to the plan for shrinking New York City's carbon footprint, was born. This Carbon Challenge was originally devised to get government building managers — "leading by example" — along with voluntary commitments by large institutions like universities, hospitals and large office buildings, to cut their CO2 emissions by 30% in half the time outlined in PlaNYC 2030. The expansion, which came out less than a month before Mayor de Blasio took office, called for some of New York's largest multi-family property managers to encourage their co-op, condo and rental clients to embrace this same fast-track emissions reduction goal and cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 15% over the next decade. Here's how it's designed to work.

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Kendall Christiansen

Organic Wastes Are Energy-Rich Resources: Towards A New Era of Productive Alchemy

By Kendall Christiansen

Prediction: by 2020, New York City's wastewater treatment facilities could produce biogas to heat and power their own operations, power some of the agency's fleet, and provide biogas to Con Ed and National Grid pipelines. In addition to the economic benefits, less trash shipped to distant landfills and waste-to-energy facilities reduces truck miles, greenhouse gas emissions from landfills, and creates carbon-positive benefits — all of which are goals of PlaNYC/2030.

How will that prediction be achieved? It's not crystal ball-gazing to see a combination of upgraded and expanded facilities, capable of accepting new sources of materials, or "feedstock" for their anaerobic digesters, complementing the energy potential already present in the city's sewage sludge. Kathryn Garcia, the new Commissioner of Sanitation, notes that digesters love "diner food" — clean, energy-rich, and maybe a little too much fat. But what is anaerobic digestion?[1])

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