Being next to a landfill has its perks and in Illinois, they've figured out to turn garbage into fuel for greenery. Waste Management's Five Oaks Landfill in Taylorville, IL opened its gas to energy plant last October and is now providing heat to its new neighbour, Buckley Growers greenhouse.
Buckley's, which had previously been located in Springfield about 30 miles away, produces young plants for greenhouses as well as ornamental and seasonal plants. The five-generation-old business had been struggling with high energy costs to heat its 50 year old facility.
In its new greenhouse, Buckley's uses the hot water from the landfill's generators to reduce its heating costs. The landfill is one of 11 gas-energy projects in Illinois and produces enough electricity to power nearly 2,500 homes in Taylorville.
Five Oaks captures the landfill gas, primarily methane, through a network of pipes and wells drilled into the landfill. A vacuum system sucks the gas from the landfill and a power plant condenses and removes impurities. The gas then fuels the engines driving the generators to produce electricty.
Buckley uses the hot water created by Five Oaks as a fuel source for its greenhouse and 20 thousand square-foot-production support building. The water is distributed in via an extensive network of pipes in the floor and aerial pipes along the hanging basket line, keeping the plants well-heated.
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