Bloomington to Unveil Renewable Energy Task Force

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Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton (photo courtesy of the city of Bloomington) Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton (photo courtesy of the city of Bloomington)

Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton will Monday announce the initial members of a task force that will consider the feasibility of a city-wide renewable energy initiative. The city says the first phase of the task force will provide technical review of and recommendations about a renewable energy system proposed during Hamilton's State of the City address.

The proposed system would include the addition of an anaerobic digestion process at the city's largest wastewater plant. The process would be able to accept some of the 40 percent of the local waste stream that is compostable and convert it into compressed natural gas. The city says it would save landfills and reduce methane release, as well as create a local fuel source to power public vehicles such as buses and sanitation trucks.

"We’re at a critical juncture in terms of climate change, but also with regard to municipal infrastructure," Hamilton said. "It might be the right time to take advantage of a waste stream with high amounts of compostable material by upgrading an aging water treatment facility and converting our municipal fleets to cleaner-burning vehicles. I’m looking forward to working with the task force to determine the viability of implementing this more sustainable system."

The initial members of the task force will research the technical considerations involved, investigate the best practices of comparable systems in other cities, and map a cost analysis of the effort. The task force is expected to take up to five months to conduct the review and make its recommendations.

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