Republic Services announces LFGTE project, sustainability report

By Erin Voegele | April 03, 2015

On April 2, Republic Services Inc. announced the opening of a new landfill gas-to-energy (LFGTE) project at the Upstate Regional Landfill in Union County, South Carolina. The project features two reciprocating combustion engines that generate 3,200 kW of energy.

Republic Services’ subsidiary Republic Services of South Carolina LLC partnered with Lockhart Bioenergy LLC, an affiliate of Lockhart Power Co. and Pacolet Milliken Enterprises Inc. to develop the project. Lockhart Bioenergy will operate the plant, and its output is being purchased by Duke Energy.

"Landfills are essential infrastructure in any community, but their value to society goes well beyond disposal," said Jamey Amick, area president of Republic Services. "Today's landfill can help to regenerate air, water and land in a local ecosystem, and in many cases it can create a renewable power source from waste decomposition. We are incredibly proud of this project, and the economic and environmental impacts it will make in the Upstate area for years to come."

"Together with Pacolet Milliken's other renewable energy projects, the facility will contribute to the company's ongoing corporate sustainability efforts to become a leader in implementing renewable power alternatives," said Richard Webel, president of Pacolet Milliken, the parent company of Lockhart Power.

"We are pleased to bring another renewable energy facility to South Carolina," said Bryan Stone, chief operating officer at Lockhart Power. "The facility not only generates renewable clean energy for customers in Union County and surrounding areas, but it's also a great economic development tool for attracting industries tailored for green initiatives to our area. This project is a win-win for our community."

Using U.S. EPA methodology, Republic Services estimates the carbon emissions prevented by the Update Regional LFGTE project from entering the air is equivalent to the consumption of approximately 900,000 gallons of gasoline each year. Republic Services and its subsidiaries operate 73 LFGTE projects nationwide. The combined environmental benefit of those projects is equal to removing more than 4 million cars from the road or planting more than 4.5 million acres of trees per year.

In mid-March, Republic Services released its 2014  sustainability report, which introduced the company’s sustainability plant—the preservation of a Blue Planet—and its five pillars of sustainability, including safety, operations, materials management, communities and people. In its announcement, Blue Planet explained Blue Planet is its commitment to protecting the earth. It also defines the company’s approach to environmental responsibility through decreased vehicle emissions, innovative landfill technologies, use of renewable energy, community engagement and employee growth opportunities.

As part of the report, Republic Services introduced three specific goals to help drive emissions reductions. One goal calls for the company to develop at least two landfill gas and renewable energy projects per year, resulting in approximately 20,000 tons per year of avoided carbon dioxide. The company indicted a second goal is to add 150,000 tons per year or more recycling capacity to enable growth of recycling within the communities it serves. The third goal is to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from its collection vehicles by 3 percent.