Renewable Energy

Today’s modern, engineered landfill is an environmentally sound system for waste disposal. Landfills offer a clean, renewable energy resource that is generated continuously through the decomposition of the waste. This resource is known as landfill gas.

Landfill gas is a naturally occurring byproduct of the waste thrown out every day. Each person in the United States generates about 4.5 pounds of waste per day, and more than 50% of this waste is managed in municipal solid waste landfills such as High Acres Landfill. Organic materials disposed of in a landfill- including food and sludge from the wastewater treatment process- help to promote the decomposition process. Landfill gas typically consists of about 50% methane (which is the primary component of natural gas) and 50% carbon dioxide, and so this gas is not very different from the natural gas that comes to your home through your local utility.

Most landfills collect landfill gas, a greenhouse gas, and burn it in a flare system to destroy it. Instead of simply flaring the gas, Waste Management uses this gas in a variety of applications to create green energy. High Acres is turning landfill gas into electricity.

High Acres Renewable Energy Facility manages:

  • 250 gas extraction wells located throughout the site
  • 7,400 cubic feet per minute of landfill gas

The facility generates enough energy to power nearly 10,000 homes and replace 180,000 barrels of oil each year. With a large and growing number of beneficial-use gas projects around the country, Waste Management is a nationwide leader in turning landfill gas into electrical power. The company has 136 landfill gas to energy related projects operating in 19 states.