Waste to energy has thankfully started to become a trend recently in the industry. We have various examples all throughout the waste removal business that point to an overall reshuffling in the way our refuse is handled once it has left our hands. The bigger companies in the business have been pushing their efforts into over-drive, it seems. This is easier for them to do since they own entire landfills worth of waste.

They can experiment and test and use these substances to their heart’s content. For smaller companies, it’s a little more complicated, but that doesn’t mean there are not innovative solutions cropping up all over the place when it comes to how the contents of your waste container are handled. In this instance, we are talking about the biggest landfill in Northern California and what Waste Management is doing to handle the methane this landfill produces.

The Altamont Landfill in Livermore, California handles 5,000 tons of waste every day, and there are nearly countless millions of tons currently resting in the landfill. Waste Management is joining other refuse haulers and using the waste from their landfill to power the trucks that bring said waste to those locations. Through the extraction of methane from the debris from the roll-off dumpsters and trash bins across the city an innovative solution arises. The trucks that bring in all of that refuse can now be powered by alternative means. Methane is naturally produced by this waste and it would usually need to be disposed of through incineration.

Proper and safe disposal of methane is paramount and it is great to see that it now has a use that goes directly back into the system. Having waste removal trucks powered by these substances is a practice that will hopefully catch on in the refuse hauling industry. It’s a novel idea to take a by-product of the materials these trucks bring to landfills every day and use it to power them. Any little bit helps, and with 17% of the U.S. methane emissions coming from landfills, this is a substantial amount of gas. It’s nice to know the bi-product of that contents tossed in of our roll-off dumpsters and waste containers is being used to power the trucks that transport these substances. For a reference, just imagine the recycling symbol because that is essentially how the gas is functioning.

Source: ABC San Francisco
Pic: via Ropable