SWACO profits from methane created by landfill

By Rick Rouan, The Columbus Dispatch. 

The landfill’s flares are a little dimmer, but its coffers are getting a lot fuller.

The Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio made about $1 million in the first year of a new program that refines methane and carbon-dioxide gas generated at the landfill and sells it in California.

If it reaches its full potential, the program could help stabilize trash-collection rates while contributing to renewable energy, said Dave Bush, chairman of SWACO’s board, at a grand opening for the facility yesterday.

It’s the realization of a deal struck more than two years ago with Aria Energy, a renewable-energy company based in Novi, Mich., that spent $22.5 million to build a facility to refine the gas at the landfill and pump it into a Columbia Gas pipeline. Aria was responsible for construction and operating costs.