North America is at an inflection point in managing organic materials. Just as paper, metal and plastics were the darlings of the recycling industry a few decades ago, our society is defining a new relationship with organic materials — one that harnesses the full carbon, energy and nutrient potential of organics. In order to help shape that new relationship, industry leaders are cultivating North America's awareness and understanding of anaerobic digestion's features, benefits and potential role in society. This two-part article explores the ways the waste, energy and agricultural industries are integrating this technology into our culture.