JUNE 2008

Mars snack plant uses methane from landfill

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Mars Snackfood flipped the switch on its first landfill gas project in Waco, Texas - a venture that will cut the company’s energy costs and the release of greenhouse gases into the environment.

The project will use methane gas that is piped in from the city landfill to power two furnaces that create steam for the plant’s candy-making operations.

In addition to saving the company $600,000 a year in energy costs, the project will also reduce more than 10,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent, which has the same environmental impact of avoiding the emissions of 1,900 cars.

Mars Snackfood joins a growing list of companies to complete waste-to-energy projects as part of EPA’s Landfill Methane Outreach Program (LMOP). There are currently 21 operational projects in Texas and a total of 34 throughout the five-state area that makes up EPA Region 6.

To foster more development of waste-to-energy resources, EPA Region 6 has developed a pilot Waste-to-Energy (WTE) Strategic Geographic Planning tool that is designed to link waste producers with end users by identifying optimum locations for such projects. The region is currently working with the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory to expand the pilot to a national scale.

LMOP is a voluntary technical assistance and partnership program. Additional information is available at www.epa.gov/lmop.