Local Dairy Waste Troubles and a Possible Solution

Posted on June 8th, 2010 by Gavin | Posted in Notes & News

Last Sunday the Oregonian had this article about trouble two local organic dairies are having dealing with the waste their cows produce.

It’s a good article that airs lots of opinions on both sides of the story but the short of it is that the dairy has rankled it’s neighbors and violated state rules with their handling of the solid and liquid waste the cows produce and they’re responding by installing at great expense a facility to better process the  manure. Hopefully with more eco and neighbor friendly results…

On the same day I read that article I also saw this post at EcoGeek which discusses how a paper from Hewlett Packard suggests that Datacenters (ie: energy-hungry buildings full of computers used by Google, Microsoft, etc.) could benefit from partnering with diary farmers to use the methane generated from cow manure to power their facilities.

The HP paper points out that the biogas plants are too expensive for farmers to finance themselves but that they could rent land and power to the tech companies to offset the cost. The potential return on investment for the farmers could be as little as two years.

What do you think? Have you heard of any other clever partnerships or energy resources like this one?

photo by: Jelle S

Comments

Stoltz

Comment left on: June 23rd, 2010 at 9:01 pm

That sounds like a really good idea!

Gavin

Comment left on: June 27th, 2010 at 8:08 am

I thought so, too. It might seem a little less idyllic to have a big datacenter plopped down in the middle of a pasture so some creative architecture might be in order (underground maybe?) but I still think it’s a step in the right direction.

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