Waste Management Inc. in 2009 broke ground on a $10 million plant in McMinnville that will create enough electricity from garbage to power 2,500 homes.
The plant will be located in the company’s Riverbend Landfill west of McMinnville and is expected to be operational in mid-2010.
As waste decomposes naturally, the new energy plant will collect the resultant methane gas and use it to power engines to generate electricity. The power will then be sold to McMinnville Power & Light.
Waste Management said the volume of electricity it generates could increase if the Yamhill County Board of Commissioners approves an expansion of the landfill.
Houston-based Waste Management Inc., the world’s largest solid waste company with annual revenue of $13.4 billion, developed the landfill-to-energy technology more than 20 years ago and now operates 111 landfill energy facilities in North America.
It has plans to develop another 160 by 2012, including one under way at its Columbia Ridge Landfill in Arlington, Ore., which will go online later this year.
The company in May formed a joint venture with Bend-based InEnTec LLC called S4 Energy Solutions LLC that will market, operate and develop InEnTec’s technology turns waste-created gas into multiple fuel types.