Auto fleets envisioned filling up at the landfill
Sunday, October 26, 2008
BY DEAN NARCISO
A mountain of rotting food, paper and refuse is the backdrop as Ron Mills watches a colleague fill the Honda Civic with natural gas. Depending on gasoline prices, the fill-up could be a bargain at $2 a gallon. It cost $16 to fill the eight-gallon tank of compressed gas. But knowing that society’s waste was the source of the fuel was profound, he said.
Mills is director of the Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio, which a month ago began producing the methane-based gas for its own small fleet of vehicles. He envisions sharing his agency’s bounty.
Dubbed the Green Energy Center, the facility, just north of the landfill on Rt. 665 near Grove City, is capable now of processing more than 300,000 gasoline-gallon equivalents from just 8 percent of the gas emitted by the landfill garbage.
That would be enough to fuel Franklin County’s entire fleet of 400 vehicles, plus an additional 50 from agencies that use county fuel, said Charlotte Ashcraft, director of fleet management for the county. But the landfill is capable of producing 10 times more fuel from the gas.