Seneca Landfill: Powering Our Community

7/31/2017

Since 2011, Seneca Landfill (part of the Vogel Holding family of businesses) has converted landfill gases into enough green energy to heat over 18,000 homes per year in Western Pennsylvania.
 
But how does a landfill become a renewable energy resource?
 
When organic matter ends up in a landfill, it breaks down over time. As it breaks down, it generates gases, including methane. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas capable of contributing to global warming. This gas needs to be diverted from entering the atmosphere.
 
Traditionally, landfills have used flares to burn off excess methane and CO2 in the air. This helps reduce odors around landfills and other hazards associated with landfill gases, while also preventing it from migrating into the atmosphere.
 
But in burning off the gas, a valuable resource is wasted. That's why Seneca Landfill captures methane, converts it into a clean form of natural gas, and uses it as a renewable energy resource.
 
As gas is generated in the sealed landfill cell, it is extracted using wells and a vacuum system. The raw methane is processed on-site at Seneca Landfill to remove impurities. The refined natural gas is used right here in our community for a variety of purposes:

  • It's used as a direct energy and heat source at Seneca Landfill.
  • It gets put into the energy pipeline to power and heat local homes.
  • It is used by CNG (compressed natural gas) vehicles, including the Vogel fleet.

The benefits of this process are numerous:

  • It prevents a natural resource from being wasted.
  • It reduces greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution.
  • It improves the efficiency of Seneca Landfill's operations.
  • It helps stabilize local natural gas supplies and prices.
  • It helps reduce the need for fossil fuels, wind and solar power.
  • It provides a cleaner fuel source for CNG vehicles.

In addition to processing methane into renewable energy, Seneca Landfill practices other safe, clean and responsible methods. Read more about Renewable Energy Production at Seneca Landfill at SenecaLandfill.com.