Turning trash into renewable energy

Earth Week: Spotlight on Waste Management Lockwood Landfill’s sustainability efforts
Garbage is being turned into methane at the Lockwood Landfill.
Published: Apr. 20, 2023 at 9:39 PM PDT
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SPARKS, Nev. (KOLO) - The Waste Management Lockwood Landfill is turning waste into renewable energy. Contributing to the environment by providing a source of renewable energy through the capture and processing of landfill gas.

All starting with the collection of waste from our local counties, which on an average day is about 5,000 tons. Waste like food, paper and cardboard (organic in nature) gets tipped, flattened, and buried at the landfill. After which, within 3 to 5 years, the buried materials begin to decompose. As it decomposes it releases landfill gas, methane, that is captured through a well system created on the land.

“The wells are our gas collection system, those gases get sucked into our engine plant where its then converted into energy,” said Jorge Ballesteros, District Manager, WM Lockwood Landfill.

On average the landfill produces enough energy to power around 2,000 homes a year.

“We’ve got two cat engines that run off of the gas that the landfill produces and it produces electricity that feeds into the NV Energy power grid,” said JD Welch, Renewable Plant Manager at Lockwood Landfill. “Waste isn’t going anywhere, so it feels good to produce something beneficial from it.”

To learn more about Waste Management’s Environmental Stewardship, click here.