PAVILION, N.Y. (WROC) — Nearly 1,000 pounds of butter is molded into a sculpture and brought to Syracuse every year for the annual New York State Fair. What happens to it when the fair is over?
No, it doesn’t get used as a spread for your bagel or melt away. A local dairy farm in Livingston County has been recycling the buttered creation into reusable energy for the last seven years.
Noblehurst Farms in Pavilion, New York, combines the butter with other food waste from local manufacturers and colleges, runs it through its digester, and finally converts it into energy. So much energy, in fact, enough to comfortably power a single-family dwelling for three days.
“Food waste is a huge problem,” said Noblehurst Farms Vice President Chris Noble. “40% of the food we produce in this country is wasted. If we can recycle as much as we can to create renewable natural gas, or through compost or electricity, we’re really providing those nutrients back to the crops where they belong. We’re really able to create a closed loop economy.”
The farm’s digester works like the stomach inside of a human body, reducing waste to gas and using it to power, in this case, the farm’s electricity consumption. According to Noble, the digester powers the on-site creamery and about 350 homes for a year.
Video: Nearly 1,000 pounds of butter-made sculptures get torn down
In recent years, Noblehurst Farms has been recognized nationally for its achievements in sustainability. The result of Noblehurst’s efforts has led to diverting 200 tons of food waste from local landfills on a weekly basis, according to the farm’s website.
This year’s butter sculpture was the 54th sculpture to feature at the New York State Fair.