The Environmental Protection Agency created the Landfill Methane Outreach Program to significantly reduce methane emissions from municipal solid waste landfills by encouraging the use of landfill gas for energy. Since the program's inception, LMOP’s efforts have reduced landfill methane emissions by over 24 million metric tons of carbon equivalent. The greenhouse gas reduction benefits are equivalent to having planted 24 million acres of forest or removed the annual emissions from 17 million vehicles. More info.
After waste is deposited into the landfill, it begins to decompose. One of the byproducts of waste decomposition is the production of landfill gas. The predominant substance in landfill gas is methane. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas and contributes to global warming, so CEP is required to destroy this gas rather than release it to the atmosphere.
In 2007, CEP began selling landfill gas to INGENCO, a producer of electricity from landfill gas. INGENCO operates a 4 megawatt power plant, using landfill gas as the primary fuel. This generation operates 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, except for scheduled maintenance.
At present, the facility is capable of meeting the electricity needs of approximately 2,500 homes. As CEP closes more landfill cells, more landfill gas will become available. INGENCO has designed their facility for future expansion, based on the amount of landfill gas available.
The Coastal Environmental Partnership is proud to operate the only landfill gas-to-electricity plant east of Raleigh.