Clean Energy Projects Turn Landfills into Community Assets
The US Environmental Protection Agency recognized the accomplishments of numerous landfill methane partners who are generating clean, renewable energy while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
"Across the nation, EPA is helping transform landfill waste into energy wealth," said Bill Wehrum, acting assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Air and Radiation. "We are recognizing partners who have demonstrated superior innovation and environmental achievement in advancing landfill gas energy projects."
Methane, a primary component of landfill gas, is a greenhouse gas that is over 20 times as potent as carbon dioxide at trapping heat in the atmosphere. EPA's Landfill Methane Outreach Program has assisted in developing more than 325 landfill gas projects in the past 12 years, reducing methane emissions by about 90 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent. Nationwide, there are more than 400 projects in operation, and in 2006 alone, these projects provided over 10 billion kilowatt hours of electricity and 75 billion cubic feet of landfill gas to corporate and government end users. These projects produced energy equivalent to powering roughly 780,000 homes and heating nearly 1.2 million homes, turning the landfills into community assets.
EPA's Landfill Methane Outreach Program is a voluntary assistance and partnership program that reduces greenhouse gas emissions by supporting landfill gas energy project development. The program also assists countries throughout the world in developing landfill methane reduction projects through the international Methane to Markets Partnership.
Landfill Methane Outreach Program award winners:
Project of the Year: Jackson County Green Energy Park, N.C.
- Landfill gas will be used to help heat local businesses and help produce biodiesel made from rapeseed grown by local farmers and sold to the National Park Service.
Project of the Year: Lancaster County and Turkey Hill Dairy, Pa.
- The facility's landfill gas-fueled engines produce enough clean energy to power 2,000 homes and steam for Turkey Hill Dairy, maker of ice cream, milk, and tea products.
Project of the Year: Jefferson Parish and Cytec Industries Inc., La.
- With Hurricanes Katrina and Rita striking during project construction, the project partners had to overcome substantial obstacles to bring landfill gas to fuel the Cytec plant and economic benefits to the region.
Project of the Year: Jenkins Brick Company, Ala.
- The new $56 million dollar state-of-the-art brick manufacturing plant is the first major manufacturing facility located specifically to take advantage of local landfill gas, which will be used to help power brick kilns.
Community Partner of the Year: DeKalb County, Ga.
- The county provided funding and vision in the development of a project that overcame political and institutional barriers to bring clean energy to Atlanta area residences and businesses.
Energy Partner of the Year: BMW Manufacturing, S.C.
- BMW expanded its landfill gas project used for powering and heating its plant to fueling its paint shop operations, becoming the first company in the world to do so.
Energy Partner of the Year: Murray City Power, Utah
- By creating a unique project financing structure, Murray City Power uses landfill gas from the Salt Lake Valley Solid Waste Management Facility to generate three megawatts of green electricity for the Salt Lake City region, powering about 2,000 homes.
State Partner of the Year: Delaware Solid Waste Authority, Del.
- DSWA is generating electricity from landfill gas at every viable landfill in the state.
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