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Posted Thu Nov 11 2010: from Yale360:
China Turns to Biogas to Ease Impact of Factory Farms
His farm is also different than the American pig farms you usually detect with your nose before you see any animals: it smells only faintly of waste. He says that's because it's an ecological CAFO, which sounds a bit like an oxymoron. "The whole system is pollution-free, zero-emission, and energy saving," says Ye. "The key is the biogas digester." Biogas digestion takes the nuisances of most large animal farms -- solid, liquid, and gaseous wastes -- and turns them into resources that farmers can use and even sell. Raw pig waste is usually a liability for farmers: It's full of pathogens and compounds like ammonia that can ruin crops and soil if applied directly. It also is prone to running off into waterways and leaching into groundwater.... The South China Sea today is largely a dead zone with frequent red tides and little remaining life because of run-off from upstream agriculture.... Ye thinks his biogas digester may be part of the solution. It cost about $600,000, but Ye only paid for half while the central, provincial, and local governments picked up the rest with subsidies.... To avert future environmental disasters like leaks or spills of wastewater from large farms and to capture methane, the government has decreed that all farms with more than 1,000 cows, 10,000 pigs or 100,000 chickens must install biogas digesters. In Zhejiang province, one of China's richest and most environmentally progressive, the local government recently decided that all farms with more than 50 pigs must have biogas digesters.
[Read more stories about: smart policy, efficiency increase, methane release, corporate farming]

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'Doc Michael says:
Y'know, in this country we'd call that socialism. We like our freedom to do whatever the hell we want to others.

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