Are landfills the culprit when it comes to methane emissions…or are they swiftly becoming part of the solution. We believe the latter…
The truth is, there has been a steep decline in methane emission from landfill facilities since 1990, of about 30 percent according to research. The biggest reasons for this are effective regulations that have targeted emissions specifically and the utilization of methane to create renewable energy.
At AEL, we are very proud to have the only waste to energy facility in the state of Oklahoma. Methane reduction is a priority for us and we’re doing all we can to make sure that emission levels are as low as they can be. Landfill gas is about 50 percent methane, the primary component of natural gas. American Waste Control is now piping that methane into a processing and generation plant under a contract with Montauk Energy. The electricity then flows to the Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority, which supplies power to nearly 5000 homes in Pawhuska and 38 other small Oklahoma communities.
Prior to 2012, our company had been flaring off the methane, which is the usual method of dealing with the potent gas. Although flaring keeps it from entering the atmosphere, where it can hurt the ozone, it also wastes a potential rich energy source from being harnessed. If it is not captured, according to the EPA, landfill methane has the potential of becoming 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide, a chief greenhouse gas.
By converting thousands of tons of trash per day into energy, our waste to energy project is helping protect the region’s air and water quality from increased carbon emissions. We’re also adding on decades of life to the roughly 220 acres of permitted landfill space that we own as we dramatically reduce waste material and boost revenue to keep costs under control for our customers.
All this adds up to a huge environmental plus for the Sooner State that could have significant ramifications.
Not only is our system helping the power needs of families, but we’re also offsetting fossil fuel consumption and reducing greenhouse gas to create a huge environmental plus for Tulsa. By converting thousands of tons of trash per day into energy, our waste to energy project is helping protect the region’s air and water quality from increased methane emissions.
Like I said, we are part of the solution, and we’ll continue to work for a cleaner environment as long as we’re in business to do so.