Thursday, November 5, 2009

Turning Trash Into Treasure Landfill Gas Helps Local Communities and the Environment

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Turning Trash Into Treasure Landfill Gas Helps Local Communities and the Environment - If one man's trash is another man's treasure, then landfills just might be the latest goldmine. With oil prices at record highs and increased attention on conserving the environment, businesses and communities are increasingly looking to landfill gas as a source for fuel.

All landfill trash decomposes over time and releases methane, a greenhouse gas, into the air. At landfills across the county, new technology is being developed to capture that natural gas, treat it and send it where it can be used as fuel. At Three Rivers Landfill in South Carolina, landfill gas travels 17 miles through a pipeline to Kimberly Clark's Beech Island facility, where it helps to power the manufacturing plant.

A growing number of companies like these are finding landfill gas to be a clean, reliable energy source that can be purchased at significantly lower costs than conventional natural gas. In addition, the environmental benefits of landfill gas are significant. According to the EPA, the reduction in greenhouse gases from this project alone is equivalent to removing 41,000 cars from the road or reducing oil consumption by more than 50,000 barrels a year.