Missouri using gas from landfills

Oct. 20, 2009 at 11:51 AM

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo., Oct. 20 (UPI) -- Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon inaugurated a renewable energy project that uses the biodegradation processes in landfills to generate electricity.

The Democratic governor attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a joint project for Republic Services Inc. and Ameresco to develop a landfill gas-to-electricity project for the Jefferson City Landfill.

"This project creates a clean, reliable and consistent source of energy from a naturally occurring byproduct of our landfills," said Nixon. "I commend this innovative partnership for the benefits it will bring our economy, environment and communities."

Organic material gives off methane gas when it decomposes. Gas is captured in the landfill and used to generate electricity, heat or steam.

Methane from the Republic Services-operated Jefferson City Landfill could generate 3.2 megawatts of electricity, or enough to meet the energy demands of around 2,000 customers. The reduction in greenhouse gas emissions is the equivalent to removing 28,000 vehicles from Missouri roads.

Heat generated from the decomposition process in the landfill provides steam and hot water for the state-owned Jefferson City Correctional Center.

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