WASHINGTON — In the spirit of last week’s Earth Day celebrations, the American Biogas Council (ABC) and the Water Environment Federation (WEF) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that will help accelerate organics recycling by jointly promoting the value of resource recovery, specifically the use of energy and products produced from biogas systems at wastewater treatment facilities, according to a press release.

“WEF is thrilled to formalize our commitment to a broader and deeper working relationship with the American Biogas Council,” said WEF Executive Director Eileen O’Neill. “Our organizations have a shared interest in the recognition that energy derived from biosolids, using anaerobic digestion is a valuable renewable resource. We look forward to working with ABC in promoting opportunities for the beneficial use of biogas and digested residuals.”

WEF and ABC believe that wastewater treatment plants are not waste disposal facilities, but rather water resource recovery facilities that produce clean water and, through the use of biogas systems, yield renewable energy, recover nutrients (such as phosphorus and nitrogen) and produce valuable, nutrient-rich soil amendments that reduce the need for synthetic fertilizers, the release reported.

Biogas Systems process organic materials, like the solids, fats, oils, and grease removed by wastewater treatment, in controlled, fully-enclosed, natural biological systems that capture the methane to create renewable electricity and fuel, noted the release.

Today, there are over 2,000 operating biogas facilities in the U.S. and more than 1,300 of them are at wastewater treatment facilities, continued the release, yet the potential for growth is significant.

According to the release, there are at least 4,000 wastewater treatment facilities in the U.S. where new biogas systems could be installed for converting organic waste into renewable energy and valuable soil products.

Read the full release here.