During the public hearings with Waste Management and DeKalb County more than once citizens asked, what about capturing the methane and using it to produce energy. Waste Management’s response was that it was not cost effective at our County landfill. This is not the case just a few miles North of DeKalb outside of Davis Junction at the Orchard Hills Landfill.
Hoosier Energy, a rural electric cooperative based in Bloomington Ind. has $37 million plant to convert methane gas from the landfill into electricity. When methane is converted into electricity a tremendous amount of heat is also produced in the process. That heat could be used by a factory, greenhouse, or other company looking for green-energy heat for operations.
In Racine WI, S.C. Johnson heats and powers a 2.2 million square foot factory with waste heat from landfill gas conversion. Near Detroit a Hoosier Energy methane power plant heats a building for automotive supplier Visteon, saving the company nearly $350,000 a year.
This is another example of looking to the future of solid waste as a source for energy. Another reason why the DeKalb County officials should be using the time the law suit with Waste Management is tied up in the Appellate Court system to be planning for the future. We have had a year to reach out to companies like Hoosier, and there is many and more every month, which is looking for opportunities to take solid waste and turn it into power.