We live about 15 minutes from a rather large garbage dump. I had heard some things about using the garbage in the landfill as an energy source, but didn’t know the details. This topic gave me reason to look it up a little bit. It turns out that something I drive by on a somewhat regular basis is an Energy Recovery Station – a waste to energy power plant.
This plant converts refuse derived fuel from mixed municipal waste into energy, providing an efficient disposal method for garbage and preventing that garbage from going into landfills. up to 1,500 tons of municipal waste arrive at the plant daily. Recyclable steel, aluminum and items that cannot be burned are removed. The remaining is a renewable resource helping to generate electricity conserving resources like oil, coal and natural gas. The plant has 3 generators producing up to 29 megawatts of electricity.
The power plant began it’s commercial operation in 1950 using coal and oil. In 1963, it was converted to a nuclear power plant, then changed back to operating on coal and oil in 1968. In 1989, it was converted again, this time to the present day operation.
The plant meets the standards of biomass energy in Minnesota. The renewable energy classification recognizes that the plant is environmentally safe and beneficial to the residents by converting waste into electrical energy.
This plant has reduced landfill waste by up to 300,000 tons a year!
Do you know about any alternative energy sources where you live?