Efforts to clean up lakes Mendota, Monona, Kegonsa and Waubesa are employing conservation practices that originated in Dane County back in the 1970s — just on steroids.
“Developers are often demonized, but I have probably planted more trees than 99 percent of citizens and the city of Madison,” said Wall, the 2009 recipient of the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Energy Efficiency and a one-time Republican U.S. Senate candidate who lost to Ron Johnson. “There is nothing worse than a town filled with concrete.”
The greenhouse and its veggies are one example of a new cottage industry popping up across the country to capitalize on the waste energy, methane gas and the nutrient-rich solids that are emitted from a digester.
Since 2001, manure digesters have been popping up across the state. Wisconsin now has 34, the most in the nation, with two more scheduled to begin operating by 2015. In all these digesters, bacteria eat biomass like manure, food scraps or whey and emit energy in the form of methane gas.