Dan Miner's sustainability, resilience and business initiatives
NYC Can Capture Carbon to Cope with the Climate Crisis
- While Cutting Waste Disposal Costs
We're in a global climate crisis, but we can still avoid the worst case scenarios. Check out the Drawdown Project, a collection of the top 100 methods, extensively researched by scientists, to stop the increase in greenhouse gases and put them into reverse.
There are many ways to reduce carbon emissions by cutting fossil fuel use. It's also essential to capture carbon in solid form and keep it from going back into the atmosphere, and there are just a few ways to do it. The one most accessible to NYC is pyrolysis of carbon-containing organic materials, the process of heating them in the absence of oxygen, which produces charcoal-like products.
The organic materials could be agricultural wastes, dead trees, animal manure - or sewage sludge. NYC pays $50 million a year to haul 1,400 tons per day of sewage waste biosolids to faraway landfills. Here's an introduction on how NYC could carbonize that waste stream. It would save money, and open up an entirely new way for NYC to reduce its carbon emissions.
It would also make NYC a model for all the world's cities to do the same. This project has evolved over the last several years. Based on my ongoing discussions with the builder of a pyrolysis facilty in NJ, and the biosolids manager at NYC DEP, it seems that the issue deserves wider attention from the environmental community and more support from NY State legislators.
Local Projects in Forest Hills, Queens
The volunteers with Forest Hills Green Team are collecting food scraps to be composted by Queens Botanical Garden each Sunday near the farmer's market. FHGT has adopted and maintains a public landscaping site on Yellowstone Boulevard around the LIRR overpass. Planting events have focused on hardy perennials. FHGT also takes on environmental advocacy projects. We conducted candidate interviews and endorsements in this year's NYC Council primary race.