Tville's landfill is going green - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Tville's landfill is going green

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THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) -

By LeiLani Golden - bio | email

THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) –Thomasville plans to build a gas collection facility at its landfill. Their goal is to turn those stinky gases into energy producers and even fuel sources.

It's a bold step into the future which the city hopes will eventually even pay for itself.

A landfill is the last place most people would think of being "green". But the city of Thomasville is hoping to change that with the construction of a gas collection facility at its solid waste landfill.

"I'm very glad we're doing this," says city engineer Jim Petrak. "I think it'll be great for the city of Thomasville. This is a proactive movement."

The landfill is still an estimated five to eight years away from being large enough to require a gas collection system by law. But that isn't stopping the city from thinking ahead.

Petrak explains, "If we had to wait to the point where we had to put this in we'd have to fund this ourselves. So there's the chance that all the equipment will be paid for by carbon credits and then if we use the gas we may even make a profit. Green can be profitable!"

Besides the obvious odor, waste in a landfill also emits harmful gases. But it's those gases that the city wants to capture to use for energy.

"One of the problems is they do a calculation of the amount of gas that comes out of the landfill. It's just an engineering calculation. If we can collect enough gas, we can generate electricity in the future hopefully."

In addition to using the gas for energy, the collection system will also clear the air of those harmful gases, like methane.

"It's very environmentally friendly," Petrak assures people. "If we remove one cubic foot of methane gas, it's like removing twenty-two cubic feet of carbon dioxide. We're gonna collect gas, remove pollutants from the atmosphere, and it should save money and maybe even make money, so it's a benefit for everybody."

And it might give a whole new meaning to "one man's trash".

Once construction begins on the gas collection system, it's estimated to take 3-4 months to complete.

The city will monitor the gases that are collected for one year before deciding whether to turn it into energy or sell it as a fuel source.

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