Electricity, less odor from landfill

The Rumpke Landfill in Georgetown is now a source of electricity for the community.
A 4.8 mega watt power plant that converts landfill gas to electricity is now operating, generating enough power to service almost 3000 homes on an annual basis.
Tons of Methane and carbon dioxide gas are generated each year by the decomposition process at the landfill.  That gas used to be collected and burned off, but is now being burned for energy.
The gas powers three engines inside the plant to generate electricity 24 hours a day.
“Our company’s mission is sustainability, it’s doing the right thing.  We are a green company.  We recycle and when we have an opportunity at our landfills to do something with the gas that our landfills are generating, that’s what we want to do,” said Rumpke President and CEO Bill Rumpke, Jr.
“While a lot of time, landfills may have a negative connotation, we are getting something good out of this.  We are producing sustainable electricity for the community.”
The Georgetown landfill will be the third facility within Rumpke that uses the gas to electricity concept, and the CEO sees that as a point of pride.
“2017 is our 85th anniversary as a company.  This is another big milestone along the way.  I’m proud, along with my family, to continue to service the community in the way that we do,” Rumpke, Jr. said.
The new plant will have another benefit that local residents will like…a large reduction in the odor generated by the landfill.  By capturing the methane instead of burning it off, the smell will be greatly reduced.
“Garbage stinks.  There’s no doubt about it.  Having something that can reduce that is beneficial to the entire area,” said Georgetown Mayor Dale Cahall.
“We also get a reliable source of renewable energy.  We feel that we are a participant in taking particulates out of the air and using them to benefit our residents.”
Energy Developments, Inc of Nashville, TN spent eight million dollars to build the plant.  The company is purchasing the gas from Rumpke, generating the electricity, and then selling the energy to American Municipal Power, Inc., a company that specializes in providing power to local communities.
“We’ve taken a lease from Rumpke on this site.  We’ve built the project and we export the power to AMP Ohio.  We have a fifteen year contract with AMP to sell the power to them,” said Energy Developments CEO Steve Cowman.
State Representative Doug Green also attended the ribbon cutting.  He said “It’s exciting when you see development like this take place within the district.  Energy uncertainty is always a concern and when you diversify your sources of energy, it’s always a good thing.”
Ohio Environmental Protection Agency Director Craig Butler said that Rumpke deserves recognition for going the extra mile for the environment.
“They could just (burn) this gas and meet their requirements and continue to operate this landfill.  Just think of the innovation it takes to take that gas, run it through their turbines, work with a partner and generate enough electricity to power a town of 3000.  Reusing that resource is simply smart business.”
Butler said that it was good to see concern for the environment playing a large role in the decision to build the plant.
“I love the interconnection between environmental protection, job creation and business development.  This is a great example of that.  This also helps preserve fossil fuels so we can continue to use those too.  It also keeps methane out of the environment, which is something we like to see also.”
According to information provided by Rumpke, Inc., the Georgetown landfill currently has 95 acres with waste on it and is permitted for 224 acres.  Approximately 600 tons are received per day.  At that rate, the landfill has an estimated 212 years of disposal space.