COLUMBUS, OH— U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) today visited the Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio (SWACO). At SWACO, Brown announced new legislation that would expand the use of municipal solid waste as a source of clean energy.
“One man’s trash can be another man’s source of clean energy,” Brown said. “SWACO is leading our nation by converting landfill waste into a productive use. My bill would allow municipal waste systems across the country to follow SWACO’s lead. With the right investments, we can develop new clean energy sources, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and create new jobs and economic activity.”
Methane is a naturally-existing byproduct that must be eliminated at all landfills. Many landfills burn methane and release it as carbon dioxide – contributing to greenhouse gas emission. SWACO’s Green Energy Center employs state-of-the-art technology developed in Cleveland and manufactured in Central Ohio that converts and cleans methane from landfill waste. The methane is converted into clean natural gas (CNG), which can be used to fuel municipal fleet vehicles and other advanced energy vehicles.
“Resources to drive our future are all around,” SWACO Executive Ron Mills said. “However, America’s greatest resource is our people who will discover those new and renewable resources. This pioneering project shows that America can renew itself. Phase one of SWACO’s Green Energy Center harnesses just 8 percent of the available landfill gas with an annual production capacity of a quarter million gasoline gallon equivalents of Compressed Natural Gas. Phase two will use all the landfill gas and produce five to seven million gasoline gallon equivalents a year! Imagine the impact on our foreign energy usage if we tapped all the methane in this country’s top 100 landfills. Senator Brown’s proposal can help our country do just that. The Ohio Congressional Delegation is one of the hardest working delegations countrywide. We appreciate their dedication. It has been a pleasure to work with the Senator and his staff on this pending legislation, and to highlight what we are doing on the local front to lead the nation.”
The Rubbish to Renewables Act of 2009, which Brown announced today, would create jobs and increase demand for clean energy technology. It would create a $250 million competitive grant program at the Department of Energy to support and expand the use of municipal solid waste as a clean energy source. Brown’s bill would provide grants of up to $5 million that would fund projects such as the one at SWACO. Grants would be awarded on their ability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create new jobs and economic activity.
Brown was joined today by Ron Mills, Executive Director of SWACO; Paula Brooks, Franklin County Commissioner; Sam Spofforth, Executive Director, Clean Fuels Ohio; and representatives from Acrion Technologies, the Cleveland company that developed the technology, and Guild Associates, a Dublin company that manufactures the technology.