Dane County dedicates $3M to possible community manure processing plant 

County Executive Joe Parisi announced today that Dane County will begin studying the feasibility of a community-scale manure processing plant aimed at reducing phosphorus runoff into the Yahara Chain of Lakes, according to Channel3000. The effort is funded by $3 million from the 2023 county budget.

Manure spread onto frozen land during the winter can increase phosphorus runoff, causing algae blooms in the summer.

The county is currently seeking bids from consultants to evaluate the feasibility of a community manure treatment facility and study potential sites as well as costs. The consultant will be selected by a group of local farmers and agronomists.

The county already has two manure digesters, located outside of Middleton and Waunakee; these facilities convert methane from digested manure into renewable natural gas used by the county as cleaner burning vehicle fuel.

A county estimate states that a community plant that treats around 300 million gallons of manure per year from 30,000 cows would cut methane emissions by over 100,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide — the equivalent of almost 22 million miles driven by passenger vehicles.