Turn Landfills Into Renewable Energy!

Could landfill mining be the next exciting resources idea to sweep Europe?

Digging up landfills for extracting solid waste, recycling the usable materials, and converting the organic material into usable fuel, is an idea whose time has come, according to some experts, reports The Guardian.

Digging Up Fifty Years’ Worth Of Trash

Advanced Plasma Power (APP) is a UK company that has formed a joint venture to dig up a giant landfill near Hasselt, in eastern Belgium, which has been in use since the 1960s. The plan is to extract 16.5 million tonnes (that’s 16,500 million kilograms) of solid waste, recycle half of the rubbish, and convert the rest into energy.

The project is scheduled to become operational by 2014 and if it succeeds, is thought to be the first of its kind in the world.

Fuel For 60,000 Homes

APP will use its plasma technology to convert the methane produced by the trash, which is more than 20 times more damaging to the environment than carbon dioxide, into usable gas. This would fuel a 60MW power plant capable of supplying 60,000 homes.

There is a downside, however, since the process can be dangerous, especially if the landfill contains asbestos or other hazardous waste; it’s also possible for trapped methane to ignite when it is released.

Hope For The Future

The idea of digging up landfills has been considered before, but with the increasing shortage of landfill space, and greater need for electricity, it is looking more like a real option, particularly in small, crowded countries like the UK and Belgium.

But could this also the next big thing in the U.S.?

Creative Commons - D'Arcy Norman


Douglas Lass
Douglas Lass5 years ago

Why not recycle as much as possible now! How about using leaves, grass clippings and other yard waste as weel as agricultural waste to produce methane and compost!

dawn p.
dawn phelps5 years ago

this is a wounderful idea..

Green Road A.
Good Heart5 years ago

This is a defining moment for humanity. Are you up to the challenge of helping to create a new energy paradigm? http://t.co/AE7DjZP

Linda R.
Linda Ruggiero5 years ago

There is no excuse for municipalities to allow landfills and/or dumps. Everything that possibly can be recycled should be, everything that can be used as fuel should be. There would be no road side trash if all states demanded that all soda, beer, wine and other glass/plastic containers had a return value. Most enlightened states require this. Why don't we demand that anything and everything be re-used. In a community that we lived in back in Connecticut, we referred to the folks at the transfer station as the garbage police. Leaves could be brought to the transfer station, but had to be dumped out of their black garbage bags (and taken home for re-use) and the town composted them and the next season allowed the community to reuse the compost. Any old lawn mower or other equipment that you wanted to leave could be ''repurchased" for parts or scrap or the town got the benefit. Every glass container was recycled & reused, every piece of plastic was recycled, every piece of paper, newspaper or magazine was reused and in so doing saved another tree. The same transfer station was used for donating good useable furniture and clothing and the town offered it at the local Thrift stores and shelters. Municipalties can be just as compassionate as faith based organizations. The "garbage police" did a beautiful job keeping our town clean, safe and litter free and provided goods and services for our community. All communities should be so compassionate, frugile and GREEN.

Brian F.
Brian F5 years ago

Yes, it should be done. It is better to utilize a valuable resource for recycling or energy production, than wasting it. But we should work on eliminating landfills by recycling everything before it goes to a landfill. Landfills are not the solution. The only solution is to recycle everything and not send anything to a landfill.

Douglas L.
Douglas Lass5 years ago

There is a couple of closed landfills within 20 miles of my community that could be opened up and used in this method

Ruth R.
Ruth R5 years ago

Yes, landfill mining -- so it is done safely to the people involved -- would be possible. Also, producing the fuel with very little pollution, and energy will be useful. Trash before it goes to the landfill would be useful -- only if the production of energy has a very low output of pollution.

Ekaterina Buslayeva
Hakim M6 years ago

Great! I only wish they could do it sooner

Mandy B.
Mandy B6 years ago

Finally someone is ready to do something!! I really hope this works and sets an example for the rest of the world!

Mark S.
Mark S6 years ago

Thank you for posting. I'm happy to see that more creativity is being used to meet our planet's ever-growing energy needs. More government funding needs to be given to support research into solutions like this one.