Landfill Opens Expanded Natural Gas Facility

Article Courtesy of Daily World/Photo Courtesy of Freddie Herpin

Thursday morning, the St. Landry Parish Solid Waste Disposal announced the completion of one its long-held goals — transporting and selling the compressed natural gas it creates from garbage. The district held a ceremony, which opened its expanded BioCNG (compressed natural gas) vehicle fuel facility at the parish landfill in Beggs. The expansion was initiated by a fuel purchase agreement between the St. Landry Solid Waste Commission and Progressive Waste Solutions. Progressive Waste purchased 10 new CNG powered collection trucks at the beginning of the year to provide garbage collecting services to parish residents. The trucks will run on the biogas generated at the landfill, instead of using an alternative source. "The gas system has been perfect," said Bruce Emley, Progressive area manager. "It (project) was a lot of work, but today makes it worthwhile," said Solid Waste Commission Chairman Jerry Domengeaux. "It's been a wonderful adventure and their are greater things to come." Katry Martin, who heads the solid waste district, said the project was divided into two phases, with phase two being the expansion. The vehicle fuel system was commissioned 2012 when some of the first vehicles were fueled with the natural gas. Steve Wittmann with BioCNG said St. Landry Parish is one of the only places in the country that have a primary and satellite natural gas locations. The satellite location is in Opelousas at the recycling center, 2717 W. Landry St. "This is one of the only facilities where with a tube trailer we can compress the gas at the landfill and haul it to the recycling center for the (Progressive) trucks to use," Wittmann said. "It's a unique way to get more use of the biogas out into the community and other vehicles. "We (BioCNG) have seven other facilities like this in the country," Wittmann continued. "This (St. Landry Parish) is the most successful by far in fuel sales operations and expansion of any of those projects. That has to do with Katry's (Martin) foresight and the commissions willingness to take a chance and see what could happen. It's a tremendous success story for the parish and for us." Martin said the capital cost of the recently completed project was $2.7 million dollars. He said they plan to dispense around 175,000 gallons per year, while receiving $1.50 worth of tax credits from the state Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) per gallon of gas. Martin said the district expects to get a return on its investment in 10 years.

FOR A CLEANER, GREENER TOMORROW

St. Landry Parish Recycling Centers

Hours of Operation; Monday thru Friday, 7:30 am to 4:00pm

Locations:

Opelousas Recycling Center, 2717 West Landry Street, Opelousas, LA 70570

Eunice Recycling Center, 450 N. C.C. Duson, Eunice, LA 70535

Both centers accept donations to school accounts from the public. Items Accepted: cardboard, newsprint, shredded paper, files, magazines, other paper products, aluminum and metal cans, and most plastics.

For more information: www.slpsolidwaste.org