Gassy to the end

Gassy to the end

The Tillamook Creamery Association, the Port of Tillamook Bay and other partners are gearing up for a feasibility study to see if cow carcasses can become a new energy source.

The study will determine whether a biodigester can convert the carcasses into methane gas, which in turn could be converted into electricity.

Currently, the Tillamook Creamery Association trucks 20 loads of cow carcasses per month to Coffin Butte landfill in Corvallis - at 160 miles per round trip, according to Jennifer Purcell, solid waste coordinator for Tillamook County. The Tillamook Creamery Association pays $125,000 annually for carcass disposal, said Shawn Reiersgaard, the company’s director of environmental and political affairs.

The state of Oregon no longer has any rendering facilities, which convert animal tissue into useful byproducts, such as lard. All of Oregon’s rendering facilities were privately owned, and experienced a decrease in profitability due to mad cow disease and other issues. The notoriously smelly facilities also drew many city complaints. Finally, Oregon’s last rendering facility, in Redmond, closed several years ago.

Read the full story at the Daily Journal of Commerce.

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