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Could a Landfill Power Your Home?

By District Energy posted 05-09-2024 10:33


Reasons to Be Cheerful


Across the United States, landfills are accumulating trash faster than materials can decompose. In the nearly 2,000 landfills in the US, food waste contributes over 50 percent of fugitive methane emissions from municipal solid waste landfills, those invisible plumes of potent greenhouse gas emissions that seep out of landfills and into the atmosphere.
Landfills rank as the third-largest human-generated source of methane emissions in the US, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). While diverting trash altogether would be the preferred outcome for pollution reduction, about 500 landfills across the country have turned to a novel way of combating pollution from the waste that is ending up in landfills: capturing the gas emitted from organic materials and transforming it into electricity.
“Methane is already in our environment today. You either use it or lose it,” says Mike Bakas, alluding to the methane that is wasted if it’s not captured. Bakas leads all landfill projects and renewable natural gas business at Ameresco, a company that designs, builds and operates renewable energy plants for landfills around the US.