Waste Management, Inc. (NYSE: WMI) has 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 the United States — including the potential of two additional facilities in South Carolina –over the next five years.
Waste Management currently operates LFTGE facilities at Elgin and Wellford. The two LFGTE plants generate nearly 16 MW of electricity — enough to power 15,000 homes per year. The company is also two other landfills in St. George and Ridgeland, which could host a LFGTE facility. As part of the national initiative, WM will generate more than 700 megawatts of clean renewable energy — enough to power 700,000 homes or replace over eight million barrels of oil per year.
A pioneer in LFGTE projects, Waste Management designed and operated its first such facility in the United States over 20 years ago. 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. By building LFGTE facilities, Waste Management reduces greenhouse gases by offsetting the use of fossil fuel at the utility power plants.
About Waste Management
Waste Management, based in Houston, Texas, is the leading provider of comprehensive waste management services in North America. Our subsidiaries provide collection, transfer, recycling and resource recovery, and disposal services. We are also a leading developer, operator and owner of waste-to- energy and landfill gas-to-energy facilities in the United States. Our customers include residential, commercial, industrial, and municipal customers throughout North America. More information about how Waste Management Thinks Green can be found at www.wm.com/wm/thinkgreen