South Wake Landfill Gas to Energy Plant
RALEIGH, N. Car. – The National Association of Counties (NACo) recently awarded twelve Achievement Awards to Wake County, North Carolina, for designing and accomplishing multiple programs benefitting their citizens’ environment, health, welfare, and their wallets. The County won four of the awards for a variety of environmental initiatives, as follows:
Contaminated Groundwater Initiative. Working with multiple state and federal agencies, Wake County has developed an integrated system of tracking identified contaminated sites and has online access to key data for quick and more accurate decision-making. In combination with targeted outreach initiatives designed for communities dependent on private wells and in coordination with the County Health Department, the new initiative has raised awareness of well contamination prevention and Wake County’s resources to assist citizens.
Expansion of Wake County’s Hazardous Household Waste Program at Reduced Costs. The County conducted a two month pilot study then implemented a 6-days-per-week collection program which increased the collection frequency and volume of hazardous materials collected. The expanded program eliminated the chaos of long wait times, traffic issues, and safety concerns for citizens, while significantly reducing the costs per customer of the service.
Wake County Landfill Gas to Energy Program Promotes Healthy County Initiative.The South Wake Landfill (SWLF) is designed, constructed, and operated in a manner to reduce impacts to the environment and public health. The County voluntarily constructed an active landfill gas (LFG) collection and control system and proactively manages the site. Using biodegradable materials placed in the SWLF, the methane component is captured from LFG that is naturally generated. By developing a landfill gas to energy (LFGE) project the County uses the methane to create energy which is a revenue stream for the County. Through this initiative the County improved air quality, reduced odors, and generates a small but growing revenue stream.
Environmental Services Fiscal Accountability and Productivity Model. Wake County Environmental Services Administrative Division staff has enhanced fiscal accountability and optimized productivity through three key financial and safety initiatives which have led to greater productivity and on-the-job safety. These initiatives are an important part of the County’s integrated plan.
“We’re excited that NACo is recognizing the environmental benefits and economic value that an integrated solid waste management program, such as Wake County’s program, can have,” said Bob Dick, Vice President and Project Director at SCS Engineers. “Wake County has taken the concept and value of an integrated program and really run with it,” he stated.
“Citizens and property owners are now enjoying a quieter, safer environment with better air and water quality. The community at large is benefiting from the ongoing economic savings, enabling the County to maintain a healthy environment and quality services for their citizens,” stated Joseph Threadcraft, Wake County Environmental Services Director.