Capturing Landfill Gas for Green Energy
Did you know that landfills with gas collection systems can recycle nearly 25% of the material deposited in the landfill?
That makes landfills some of the largest recycling operations in the U.S. Here is the best part. The gas created and captured is re-used for energy transformation!
From methane to megawatts, a landfill operated by Waste Connections’ Chiquita Canyon Landfill is helping Southern California Edison harvest gas emissions as a renewable energy source for electricity.
The ten-year sustainability initiative can produce up to 9.2 megawatts of electricity, enough to supply power each day to between 8,000 to 10,000 homes.
As organic waste breaks down in municipal solid waste landfills, methane gas is created. Landfill methane is normally consumed (incinerated) in a flare rather than being discharged to the atmosphere.
Were there no gas capture system, the methane released into the atmosphere would be the equivalent of 1.24 million barrels of oil consumed.
A vast majority of the landfills’ methane gas is harvested through a perforated piping system of drilled gas extraction wells. Ameresco, the company that harnesses the gas on site, cleans it by removing the moisture content and runs it through power turbines that deliver electricity to the grid. Four hundred gas wells around the site, each about 50 to 300 feet deep, essentially vacuum out the methane.
It’s a constant source of power that is running all the time, making Waste Connections-Chiquita Landfill a good neighbor and good environmental steward in the community.