Waste Management breaks ground on power facility

By Floyd Ingram/Chickasaw Journal

HOUSTON – A landfill in Chickasaw County is now producing enough electricity to power 900 homes in the area.
Gov. Phil Bryant, Waste Management and local officials snipped the ribbon Wednesday at the methane-powered, electricity generation facility at Prairie Bluff Sanitary Landfill, a 500-acre site near Houston.
Construction on the $1.2 million facility began in April. The facility is on-line and produces 16-kilowatts of electricity that is fed into TVA’s grid via Natchez Trace EPA substations in Houston.
Bryant pointed to his Energy Summit held two weeks ago in Jackson with more than 600 people attending to hear of new energy sources and energy solutions that could promote economic development in the state.
“I’ve always told people if we can find ways to turn pine trees into energy, Mississippi is the place to be. … We now have a place in Chickasaw County that is turning trash into electricity,” Bryant said. “The future of energy in Mississippi is exciting a lot of people and attracting a lot of companies to our state.”
This is the second Waste Management facility in Mississippi to capture methane and use it to run a generator.
Waste Management will collect garbage and continue to bury it at Prairie Bluff. As the waste decomposes it will produce methane gas. The gas will be pulled from the landfill through a series of wells and pumped to a powerhouse, where it will fire a reciprocating engine that will spin a generator.
Waste Management Manager of Government and Community Affairs Rene Faucheux said the company has 120 landfills across the country generating energy in a fashion similar to the Prairie Bluff site.
Long-range plans are to double the power generation capacity of the Prairie Bluff facility.
Waste Management owns 427 acres at Prairie Bluff and has 238 acres currently permitted for landfill.
Garbage and industrial waste have been buried at the site since 1988. Waste Management bought the 500-acre landfill in 1991.