The Park Spark Project
Turning waste into energy is not a new topic. Dog owners are now collecting pet wastes in plastic bags that get disposed into landfill. But here at the Park Spark project, people are trying to turn dog wastes into clean energy.
What is it?
The Park Spark project is the transformation of dog waste into energy (methane) through a publicly fed methane digester as an interactive urban intervention that questions our current waste system, and at the same time creates an opportunity for others to participate in the (re)imaging of the byproduct energy (methane).
(picture courtesy of Park Spark project )
Here is a video demonstrating how the project works:
Why Does it Matter?
The waste contained in these plastic bags release small amounts of methane that add up overtime. The Park Spark Project is based on substituting the common trashcan and plastic bag with a public methane digester and biodegradable bag, so that the dog waste collected is converted into a usable form of energy (methane). This methane will burn constantly in the form of an ‘eternal flame’ monument until someone proposes an idea for the use of the flame.
Once in place, as long as people own pets in the city and throw away dog waste, the production of energy will be continuous and unlimited.
Where Is It?
The first ever Park Spark Project has been installed between Sidney st and Brookline st in Cambridge, MA a few blocks from MIT on Massachusetts ave.
All the way across the world, there is another expression of how the community can turn local animal waste into reusable energy. In Drachten, Netherlands, the Steeped in Exploration is the latest Project of the Park Spark project. Steeped in Exploration uses cow manure instead of dog waste — an expression of how a community can come together to utilize local resources. Other than the eco-friendly function, Steeped in Exploration is also a socially engaged tea-drinking site that embrace the local community and create space for dialogues.
The physical structure of Steeped in Exploration is made of local materials. The water and tea all come from local sources. Cow manure is transformed into methane through a yellow-and-blue mathane digester, and provides heat to boil the water. This engaging, participatory, and dialectic project provides a new thinking for our current life style and energy consumption habits. Steeped in Exploration is a collaboration between local rood thatcher, welder, scientists, artists and local community residents.
The Park Spark Project is a simple system that changes our definition of waste and energy. So next time when you walk your dog, look out for the Park Spark Methane Digest Machine!