Clean Energy From an Unusual Source

It’s filthy, it stinks and it’s seen as a blight on our landscape.
It’s trash, but new purposes are being found for our nation’s landfills
that offer environmental benefits — just in time for Earth Day on April
22.

There are more than 2,000 open landfills nationwide; more than 50
percent of our country’s garbage is disposed of in these areas. Each
day, that trash is breaking down naturally because of bacteria. From
that breakdown, a gas is formed that can be used as a source of energy.

Companies that are using landfill gas as alternate power have been
able to displace their dependency on natural gas and coal, thereby
reducing their greenhouse gas emissions and eliminating their dependency
on fossil fuels. Landfill gas is also cheaper than its alternatives,
namely natural gas.

Currently, only 40 percent of the potential energy landfills could
provide is being tapped. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and
others are working hard to get communities across the country to see the
benefits, and not let their landfills go to waste.

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