ANDIG 6: Cooperative Development of Anaerobic Digesters

Summary 

This module explores the application of anaerobic digesters to multiple waste sources through central community digesters and other cooperative approaches.  Earlier modules in this series have described the biological processes, management and operational features, and the types and various capabilities of anaerobic digesters. Most of the information in modules 1-5 also applies to cooperatively-developed anaerobic digesters.  This module will explore in greater detail the business models, design features and conditions favoring the development of community digesters.  Community digesters take waste from smaller producers who cannot support an individual digester and allow the integration of anaerobic digestion into larger community waste, energy and environmental management objectives.  The units within this module provide case studies and lessons for anaerobic digestion applications at the community or cooperative scale.

Learning Objectives

  1. Identify the design, economic and policy barriers to conventional anaerobic digesters for community applications.
  2. Describe the community digester approach to aggregating organic waste streams from multiple sources.
  3. Identify different ownership structures and business models available to develop community digesters.
  4. Identify economic and policy approaches that support community digesters.