How MCUA turns landfill gas into energy
The Landfill Gas-to-Energy project exemplifies the Middlesex County Utility Authority’s (MCUA) commitment to innovation and sustainable waste management. Methane is collected from two closed landfills within Middlesex County — the Edison Landfill and ILR, a privately owned landfill – and the Middlesex County Landfill. The methane, a greenhouse gas naturally occurring from decomposing waste, is transported via a network of pipelines to the Electric Power Generating Facility in Sayreville. There the gas is turned into 16 megawatts of electrical energy that is then used to power MCUA’s water treatment operations in Sayreville. The project eliminates nearly all of the methane being released into the environment from the landfills and delivers cost savings for the Authority and, ultimately, for Middlesex County residents. The Landfill Gas-to-Energy project is yet another way the Authority is committed to reducing the environmental impact of waste disposal and improving the quality of life of Middlesex County residents.
How landfills are built and operated
According to the EPA, the average American produces about four pounds of garbage per day. That’s around three quarters of a ton over the course of a year. The trash that doesn’t get composted or recycled inevitably ends up in a landfill. At modern facilities such as the Middlesex County landfill in East Brunswick, massive underground liner systems are built to capture leachate to help eliminate the potential impact to the environment. Methane gas which is produced during the decomposition of trash, is captured and reused to create electricity at the County’s Wastewater Treatment Plant. (Video by Andre Malok / The Star Ledger)
Treating New Jersey’s waste water
The Raritan River is an important resource which provides drinking water, recreation, and an ecosystem for thousands of plant and animal species. That is why the Middlesex County Utilities Authority, founded in 1950, treats the County’s wastewater using various technologies to ensure that it is clean and safe before it is returned back into the environment. The process relies on five different pumping stations, more than 100 miles of sewer lines and a state-of-the-art lab to treat more than 110 million gallons of water per day. The biosolids removed are concentrated and stabilized resulting in natural organic fertilizer which is often used in agricultural and landscaping projects as well as a covering material at the County’s landfill. (Video by Andre Malok/The Star-Ledger)