Can A Landfill Generate Renewable Energy in its Afterlife?

Landfills are eyesores but they present a harsh reality of our wasteful ways. Even though we all are recycling like never before, what happens to all those acres of land that are now- landfills. I came across a great video that talks about how landfill owners are now installing solar panels on the acres of barren land devoid of trees.

Hickory Ridge is one such landfill that was a big pile of trash on the outskirts of Atlanta, Georgia. But now, with its 10 acres of solar panels, it stands for renewable energy.

“When a landfill is (finished with) taking waste, it basically is dormant and there’s not a lot of uses for the property,” says David Stuart, area environmental manager of landfill owners, Republic Services, Inc.

“But its natural attributes — being a tall structure, out of the shadows of the tree line — gives it a unique advantage as a solar project,” he added.

With the landfill closed to new deposits of garbage, Republic Services is required by law to monitor the facility for 30 years. So rather than let it stand as a closed facility, the company sought ways to reuse the site in some way.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency there are around 100,000 closed landfills in the U.S. providing thousands of acres of land that could be used for renewable energy.

Image Hickory Ridge landfill solar cover as seen by air when flying into Atlanta’s Hartsfield Jackson International Airport (Photo via HDR Engineering Inc.)

About the Author

Hi there! I am Priti and I specialize in strategy and communications for impact organizations that aim to create social, environmental and economic wealth for all stakeholders. Working from the ground up, I help these do-gooders craft effective programs for community engagement, outreach and profitability. Follow my work covering do-gooders, cleanweb, start-ups and Web 2.0 businesses on Ecopreneurist and at Crowdsourcing Week. I enjoy traveling with my boys, cooking up a gourmet meal from scratch and entertaining! Join my community for Social Entrepreneurs on G+ Follow me on Twitter, on LinkedIn and Google+
  • I’ve included a like to our local reclaimed landfill that the city has made into an amazing green space. My wife and I had the opportunity a couple of weeks ago to take a stroll to the summit.. great view and a great place to sit and enjoy great weather and a people friendly place.

  • Paul Moore

    This was the link.. my message says a like.. sorry.