The Black Hawk County Solid Waste Management Commission is installing a $25 million gas collection system at a landfill in Waterloo, Iowa to capture and turn the landfill’s methane emissions into a renewable energy resource. The landfill currently accepts 190,000 tons of waste each year, and the new system will reduce methane emissions by 3,613 tons annually, enough to heat more than 2,500 homes a year.
With this system, the gas created from the landfill’s solid waste will be extracted through wells and piping. The site already has pipelines on the property and 55 wells are currently under construction. The gas is then sent to a primary processing system before being delivered to the on-site plant, where it will be cleaned and injected into a pipeline for use.
The renewable gas created with this system will be sold and is expected to bring an estimated $70,000 in revenue within the first year of implementation. Installation of the system is expected to be completed in May 2024.
The Waste Management Commission also entered into a landfill gas rights agreement with Pine Creek RNG, which owns and operates landfill and digester methane capture plants and other waste-to-energy infrastructure facilities. Through this partnership, the Commission will retain full ownership of the landfill operation without having to pay a penny in construction costs.
“Our investors will get a return on the project, the landfill will get an economic return, the community benefits through lower emission, and it’s producing a renewable fuel product that goes to the market to offset reliance,” said Kevin Orchard, Pine Creek RNG Vice President. “There’s certainly risk in this project, but once they’re up and running, it will provide benefits to everyone involved.”