Jenkins Brick Co.’s new $56 million plant in Moody, Ala., will charge its kilns with methane gas drawn from an adjacent landfill satisfying 40 percent
Jenkins Brick Co.’s new $56 million plant in Moody, Ala., will charge its kilns with methane gas drawn from an adjacent landfill Û satisfying 40 percent of initial energy needs, climbing to a projected 100 percent in 10 years as the landfill grows. Recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as the first major manufacturing operation sited for landfill methane-derived energy, the plant will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by the equivalent of 62,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year, an impact comparable to planting nearly 14,700 acres of forest.
Methane is the primary component of landfill gas, which results from the natural breakdown of buried waste. Jenkins Brick’s recovery method provides immediate environmental benefits because methane, a greenhouse gas, is over 20 times as potent as carbon dioxide at capturing heat in the atmosphere, EPA officials contend. Capturing and using methane as a clean fuel also provides economic and energy-security benefits.
Landfill owner Veolia Environmental Services and Jenkins Brick partnered with EPA’s Landfill Methane Outreach Program to create the landfill-gas energy project. A voluntary assistance and partnership program, EPA’s LMOP promotes the use of landfill gas as a renewable, green energy source that serves as well to prevent emissions of methane. Accordingly, the program helps businesses, states, energy providers, and communities protect the environment through sustainable industry. Over the past decade, EPA has assisted 300-plus projects, reducing methane emissions from landfills by about 27 million metric tons of carbon equivalent. Worldwide, the program assists countries in developing landfill methane reduction projects through the U.S. government-led Methane to Markets Partnership.
Notes Jenkins Brick CEO Mike Jenkins IV, Our years-long cooperation with EPA’s LMOP has provided us with valuable technical expertise as we identify ways to save money Û and the environment. His Montgomery, Ala.-based company has used clean-burning landfill gas to fuel its flagship-plant kilns since 1998. The success of that operation prompted company management to build its newest manufacturing facility adjacent to the Moody landfill site.