Trash hauling and burying company Waste Management Inc is going to spend $400 million over the next five years to generate power at sixty of the landfill sites they run. Methane in the atmosphere has greenhouse effects ten times greater than carbon dioxide and a lot of it is generated from decomposing garbage in landfills. WMI will be installing equipment to capture the methane and use it to power electrical generators.

The company has already done this at 100 of the 281 dumps that they operate and the next sixty are the only ones that currently have enough methane flow to make power generation viable. The sixty new installations should generate 230MW of electricity giving WMI a total of 700MW of generating capacity. These kinds of installations do give off some CO2 from burning the methane but the net greenhouse effect is only a fraction of what it would be if the methane was simply vented to the atmosphere.


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