The Energy Life of Trash

This seems to be a great idea — especially since it appears to be free-market, rather than government, driven —

An $80-million project to generate electricity from the methane gases that are given off by Rhode Island’s trash drew support from local and state officials yesterday morning.
Executives from a New Jersey company, Ridgewood Renewable Power, unveiled detailed plans and announced that their project, to start this spring, will more than double the output of gas-fueled electricity generation at the state’s Central Landfill, creating the second-largest such facility in the United States.
The proposed plant would churn out 41 megawatts of electricity — enough to supply more than 38,000 homes, according to the company, which aims to bring the new plant online late in 2010.
Over three decades, the facility’s projected energy output would be on par with what a coal-burning facility would produce with about 2.9 million tons of coal — enough to fill a freight train 275 miles long, the company said.

I’m curious how long of a freight train a coal plant actually accrues over three decades, but there doesn’t seem to be any downside to letting a company create energy from trash, if it wants.

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