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September 2003

Interface Flooring to Use Landfill Emissions to Fuel Manufacturing

Natural Gas Consumption is Expected to Decrease by as Much as 20 Percent

Lagrange, GA— The City of LaGrange, Georgia, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Interface Flooring Systems announced the formation of a partnership to convert naturally occurring methane gas from the local landfill into a green energy source to fuel two heaters and a boiler at Interface’s Kyle plant.

“We believe this is a first for the American carpet industry,” said John Wells. “By turning waste into fuel for our manufacturing process, we are eliminating harmful emissions and increasing the use of renewable energy. We are not only reducing our negative footprint, we are moving towards our goal of being a restorative company.”

Interface estimates it will reduce natural gas consumption at the plant by 20 percent, but the offset of greenhouse gas emissions is more substantial.

“The magnitude of this project is such that it offsets the greenhouse gas emissions for all of Interface’s North American carpet manufacturing facilities, making them all climate neutral,” said Wells, explaining that unburned methane is 21 times as potent as carbon dioxide in its contribution to global warming.

Landfill gas is generated when organic materials in the landfill decompose, and is approximately 50 percent methane and 50 percent carbon dioxide. When methane escapes into the atmosphere, not only does it contribute to global warming, it creates odors, contributes to local smog, and creates a safety hazard.

The City of LaGrange Landfill will be modified with a system to collect the gas and deliver it through a pipeline to Interface’s Kyle plant, located 10 miles away. There it will be burned and converted to heat, just like natural gas.

The City of LaGrange is retrofitting the landfill for gas collection, and the pipeline is being added incrementally to an existing city project to upgrade natural gas pipelines. Interface is retrofitting two natural gas heaters and a boiler to run on the converted methane.

 


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