East Syracuse (WSYR-TV) -- East Syracuse Minoa High School students are redefining the value of what they throw in the trash. It’s a one-of-a-kind project that’ll have you thinking twice about what you do with your food scraps at the end of dinner.
For the first time this year, ESM high school students are partnering with SUNY ESF to research technology that turns food scraps into fuel.
The process starts in the cafeteria. At the end of lunch, students bag unused food and take it to the Cleanwater Education Research Facility in Minoa. Class then resumes outside of the high school.
“It’s really cool and interesting to know we’re helping with this process and we’re getting it going,” senior Danielle Hobb said.
The process uses a biodigester, which turns items that would otherwise end up in a landfill, into a valuable resource. It has to potential to produce fuel for small engines and free heat.
The design is simple. The biodigester is constructed with plastic pipes and insulation.
“It's a widely available material that can have applications in third world, as a free energy source,” science teacher Harrington said.
“People all over the world, this could benefit the world. And I'm working on it. That's the best feeling ever,” senior Kyle Scanlon says.
ESM's biodigester is still in its early design phase, but students are excited to help develop the emerging technology.
This is newest project in collaboration with SUNY ESF. Students get college credit while still in high school. ESM says the hands-on experience has been a great way to get students interested in careers in science.