MAY 2009

Alliance Landfill turns methane into electricity

Rather than burning the methane produced at its operation in Lackawanna County and releasing it into the air, Alliance Landfill will turn that gas into electricity under plans approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

Putting the gas, which is produced as garbage decomposes, to beneficial use offers environmental and economic benefits, according to DEP Northeast regional director Michael Bedrin.

DEP required Alliance to develop alternative plans to deal with its landfill gas when the department issued an operating permit renewal in July. The plans DEP approved were submitted by the company in November to transmit its gas to an off-site facility.

Methane gas generated at the landfill, which is located in Taylor Borough and Ransom Township, will be cleansed and piped to the PEI Energy Co-generation facility in Archbald Borough where it will produce an estimated 15 megawatts of electricity. The co-gen plant generates about 106 megawatts of electricity using a combination of landfill and natural gas.

UGI Corp is now building a pipeline to transmit the gas from Alliance to a compressor and filtering station at the landfill. From there, it will go on to the co-generation facility.

DEP is continuing its review of a permit application from Alliance seeking an 87.3 acre expansion and an increase in its average daily volumes from 2,000 tons per day to 4,000 tons per day.