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Metro East Landfill Will Turn Trash Into Fuel

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The Milam landfill rises high above traffic passing by I-55/70.  (KMOX/Brett Blume)

The Milam landfill rises high above traffic passing by I-55/70. (KMOX/Brett Blume)

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FAIRMONT CITY, Ill. (KMOX) - Between Cahokia Mounds and Gateway International Speedway stands a giant landfill. It’s about to become a giant fuel source.

Under all of that dirt is methane and Waste Management spokesperson Lisa Disbrow says it is there for the harvesting.

“We will place collection pipes throughout the landfill and that allows us to pool the gas as the trash decomposes that generates the methane gas,” she explained.

That gas will then be processed to remove carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and oxygen to produce a pure form of natural gas which can run Waste Management’s trash collection trucks.

Ground was broken at the new facility Thursday and it is expected to be running by next summer.

Waste Management estimates that a new facility to produce the fuel will supply 400 trucks each day and that the landfill has a twenty-year supply.

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