Waste Management, Houston, has announced plans to expand its landfill gas-to-energy operations, adding 60 new facilities over the next five years. The company's goal is to open 10 new facilities and begin developing 10 more by 2008.
“We're setting an ambitious goal to greatly expand our current roster of these plants, which will help us responsibly allocate the company's resources while providing renewable power to the communities and regions in which we operate,” said Paul Pabor, vice president of renewable energy for Waste Management, in a press release. “This initiative is a major step in Waste Management's ongoing efforts to implement sustainable business practices across the company.”
The initiative calls for new gas-to-energy facilities at landfills in Texas, Virginia, New York, Colorado, Massachusetts, Illinois and Wisconsin. According to a press release, this initiative would add 230 megawatts of electricity generation — enough to power approximately 230,000 homes — to local grids.
Consumer awareness of environmental issues and ambitious state renewable energy standards were cited by Waste Management as the reasons for the increased demand for new renewable energy sources. Gas-to-energy projects are, in turn, more valuable to utilities than other renewable energy sources because of their less intermittent nature, according to the firm.
The electrical output of the new facilities will bring the total output for all of Waste Management's recovery facilities to 700 megawatts of renewable energy. Waste Management's first recovery facility opened in Milwaukee in 1987. The company also is exploring partnerships to market its gas-to-energy technology to other private and municipal landfills.