The Twin Oaks Landfill in Grimes County, Texas, has received Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. The facility, which is operated by the Brazos Valley Solid Waste Management Agency (BVSWMA), is the first landfill in the country to be awarded LEED certification for “all on-site infrastructure,” BVSWMA says.
The landfill received a silver level certification from the council, which awards certification in four levels. In order from lowest to highest, the levels are: certified, silver, gold and platinum. LEED certification is a measurement of such factors as a facility’s energy efficiency, water usage, carbon dioxide emissions, indoor environmental quality and overall impact on the surrounding area.
Some of the environmentally friendly features of the Twin Oaks Landfill include water-efficient fixtures, energy-efficient lighting, the use of construction materials containing recycled and local products, and the use of geothermal heating and cooling.
“The citizens of the entire Brazos Valley should be very proud to be leaders in the area of environmental stewardship and responsible municipal solid waste disposal,” said Bryan Griesbach, executive director of BVSWMA, in a statement. “The Twin Oaks Landfill has already attracted environmental professionals from around the country who came to tour this one-of-a-kind facility, and I’m sure many more will follow as the facility provides for the region’s solid waste disposal needs for the next several decades.”
The news about Twin Oaks comes in the wake of two recent LEED-related announcements by waste services firms. Earlier this month, Toronto-based IESI-BFC Ltd. opened a LEED-certified branch office  in suburban St. Louis. IESI-BFC says the office is the first waste-related facility to achieve such certification in Missouri. Among the features that helped the facility achieve the certification are a white roof to reduce heat island effect, abundant windows and skylights to make use of natural light, and the garage heating system’s use of recycled oil from the firm’s garbage trucks.
Also, Waste Management recently began operating a LEED-certified, single-stream material recovery facility (MRF) in Philadelphia . The $20 million, 60,000-square-foot facility is located on a former brownfield site and can process more than 20,000 tons of recyclables per month. The MRF’s siding and roofing contain more than 80 percent recycled content, according to Waste Management.
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