image of a toilet connecting to energy

Waste → Resources

At the NYC Department of Environmental Protection, we treat over 1 BILLION gallons of wastewater every single day! And we foresee a future where we will fulfill this critical function AND turn what we now think of as “waste” into a resource.

How Do We Do It?

Just like your stomach processes food to produce energy for your body, we have giant mechanical stomachs that digest NYC’s waste and turn it into:

map of nyc with wastewater treatment plant locations
Clean water that gets safely released back into the environment
illustration of a farm with animals
Biosolids that can be used as fertilizer
colorful illustration of a wastewater treatment plant connected to an energy symbol (lightening bolt)
Energy that can power our facilities and what’s leftover can be consumed as eletricity/gas in our local community

Digesting Wastewater + Food Scraps

food scraps being collected at a location in NYC
Food scraps are collected at various places in New York City.
tubing that says
The scraps are processed at a slurry manufacturing facility.
storage tank for engineered food waste at our facility
We receive the processed scraps and store them next to our digester eggs!

Foods scraps that go to landfills decompose and release methane (a potent greenhouse gas). The good news is that our giant mechanical stomachs can digest the organic materials in wastewater AND in processed food scraps! It’s called “codigestion.” By digesting food scraps, we’re capturing more energy AND reducing greenhouse gas emissions!

Read more about Closing the Loop: When Wastewater Treatment Becomes Resource Recovery.