Landfills Close the Loop–Repurposing Landfill Gas for the Trash Business

By Arlene Karidis, Waste 360.

Landfill owners are joining the growing alternative fuel movement by using compressed natural gas (CNG), a cleaner, cheaper alternative to diesel, to run their heavy-duty trucks, and there’s likely no industry this transition is a more natural fit for. Those in the disposal business have resources to make the fuels themselves—landfill gas (LFG), created from the tonnage of waste decomposing on their sites.

Generation of alternative gas is one more LFG application a few big players like Republic Services and Waste Management have added to their portfolio rather than to simply flare it and release it into the atmosphere.

But it’s not as simple as collecting LFG, funneling it into the trucks and running them. Technology to clean it is expensive; there are infrastructure issues to work out; and while for now CNG is cheaper than diesel, markets fluctuate.