By using landfill gas as fuel, the Jenkins Brick Co.'s new manufacturing plant will be the first major U.S. manufacturing facility to take advantage of this energy-saving benefit, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced Friday.
The $56 million plant, in Moody, Ala., built adjacent to a landfill, will use the landfill gas to fuel its kilns, meeting 40 percent of the plant's energy needs in the beginning, with 100 percent forecasted in 10 years as the landfill grows.
It will also reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 62,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per year, equal to planting almost 14,700 acres of forest.
"For centuries, bricks have been the building blocks of society, and now, by turning landfill waste into wealth, Jenkins Brick is also helping build a clean and plentiful energy supply for America," said EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson. "Through investments in renewable energy technology, President Bush and EPA are securing the power that builds our economy."
Veolia Environmental Services, the landfill owner providing the gas, and Jenkins Brick partnered with EPA's Landfill Methane Outreach Program to create this first of its kind landfill gas energy project. Approximately 55 new jobs will be created at the facility.
Methane, a greenhouse gas, results from the natural break-down of buried waste in a landfill. It is over 20 times as potent as carbon dioxide at capturing heat in the atmosphere. Capturing and using methane as a clean fuel provides environmental, economic and energy-security benefits.
Since 1998, Jenkins Brick has been using clean-burning landfill gas to fuel its Montgomery-headquarters' brick plant.
EPA's Landfill Methane Outreach Program is a voluntary assistance and partnership program that promotes the use of landfill gas as a renewable, green energy source.