Leading from the Left

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Landfill Gas: Turning a problem into opporunity

I'm pleased to say that the County is finally poised to move ahead on partnering with an outside entity to create energy from our landfill gas.

Landfills, like our landfill on Eubanks Road, emit gases. These gases (methane, for example) can be captured and turned into energy and heat. Several counties in North Carolina have already established programs to capture landfill gas for reuse and Orange County is about to join the bandwagon. Here's a link to our agenda item on the subject.

By reusing landfill gas the County will acheive several goals. First, we can make money for the tax payer--through the sale of the energy and/or through the sale of carbon credits. Second, we can take a concrete step towards addressing global warming. Methane, one of the landfill gases we will be capturing and reusing, is one of the most noxious of the green house gases.

So from a financial and an environmental standpoint it makes tremendous sense to partner with an outside entity--a utility company or perhaps UNC--to capture and reuse this gas. Otherwise, it will just be emitted into the atmosphere contributing to global warming.