Trash Making Money, Power | News
A experiment that started three and a half years ago with Houston County's trash is creating real results.
They're burning the gas released from decaying rubbish and making a pretty profit.
Superintendent at the Houston County landfill Terry Dietsch tells people the mounds of trash are more than meets the eye.
He said, "We just tell them it smells like money."
When Dietsch started the job in 1991, he didn't foresee trash becoming a treasure.
He said, "It's been a real good project."
The project Dietsch referred to is a plant at the landfill, that turns trapped methane gas into energy.
Wells dotting the landscape suck up fumes, and pump sends them into the plant.
Before construction of the power generation plant, methane released from decaying trash was burnt and release from a torch with no real purpose. Now, it's burnt and recycled as power."
Dietsch said, "We actually can produce a nice little revenue for the county."
County Operations manager Robbie Dunbar says they've turned a $2 million profit, since the plant started running. He said the county uses the money it makes, to continue landfill operations.
Dunbar said, "It actually grew bigger than what we thought."
Ty Diamond with Flint Energies says his company sells the green energy. It's now powering the entire Museum of Aviation and available to homeowners, too.
It works the same as regular electricity.
Diamond said, "You'll never know the difference. Light will burn just as bright either way."
And, now worries. The point for origin for the power is no indication of its scent, either.
The power generation plant now makes enough energy to power about 1,750 homes.
It accounts for two to three percent of Flint Energies annual power production, according to Diamond.
Dunbar said school groups frequently tour the power generation plant at the landfill, to learn about the production of green energy.