Columbia, SC [RenewableEnergyAccess.com] Waste Management Incorporated announced a major national initiative to expand its roster of landfill gas to energy (LFGTE) facilities. The program will result in the creation of an additional 60 renewable energy facilities across the country over the next five years. According to the company, the new facilities will generate more than 700 megawatts (MW) of clean renewable energy.
Waste Management currently operates two LFTGE facilities that generate nearly 16 MW of electricity in South Carolina.
Speaking at the City of Columbia’s Environmental Conference, Paul Pabor, vice president of renewable energy stated, “This national initiative is a major step in Waste Management’s ongoing efforts to implement sustainable business practices across the company. We’re building on the success of our existing local facilities, using the experience we’ve gathered from over 20 years of developing landfill gas to energy projects to carry out the national 5-year program.”
With 281 landfills, Waste Management is the country’s largest landfill operator and is in a unique position to expand waste-based renewable power generation across the country.
Landfill gas, produced when microorganisms break down organic material in the landfill, is comprised of approximately 50-60 percent methane and 40-50 percent carbon dioxide. At most landfills in the United States, these greenhouse gases are simply burned off, or “flared.” However, Waste Management sites with LFGTE facilities collect the methane and use it to fuel onsite engines or turbines, generating electricity to power surrounding homes and neighborhoods while creating a new revenue stream for the landfills.