Blog Post

Landfills as a Power Source

FACT:  Rumpke Sanitary Landfill is the world’s largest landfill gas-to-pipeline energy production facility.

Crazy, right? That’s all happening in Cincinnati, Ohio. In a partnership with Montauk Energy Capital and Duke Energy, Rumpke’s landfill gas is the only local source of natural gas currently available to the area.

Want to know something even crazier? The natural gas produced from the landfill is then used to power more than 25,000 homes in the region.

Garbage could be powering your home- that’s AMAZING!

This process has been going on at Rumpke since 1986, with an expansion of a second plant in 1995 and a third plant completed in 2007. The installation of the third plant is what marked Rumpke as the world’s largest landfill gas-to-pipeline energy production facility.

So how does garbage power homes? In the simplest terms – we suction gas from the landfill and get rid of the gas we don’t want and take the gas we want and pump it into Duke Energy’s pipeline.

Obviously, there is a lot more to it than that.  It involves a system of wells, pipes and plants that use a technology referred to as “pressure swing adsorption” which separates carbon dioxide from methane gas and other trace gases created from decomposing garbage.

Rumpke’s mission to provide clean and reusable natural gas doesn’t just stop in Cincinnati. We have a landfill gas to electricity plant in Butler, Kentucky, that currently produces enough electricity to power several thousand homes in Northern Kentucky. And just this November Rumpke broke ground on a landfill gas to electricity plant at its Brown County, Ohio landfill.

The gas plant – which will produce enough gas to power several small villages in the region, is expected to be operational in April 2017. 

About the author: Casey Harchaoui is a Corporate Communications Assistant. 

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