Typically with a trash dump, what goes in never comes out. But that’s not the situation with the Bridgeway Acres Landfill in Pinellas County, Florida.
As the St. Petersburg Tribune reports, for the last few months garbage trucks have removed 13,000 tons of trash from the landfill. Instead of taking up space and releasing dangerous greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, this garbage is taken to a waste-to-energy plant that burns it and then sells the generated electricity to Duke Energy.
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It appears that the economic benefits really do measure up. According to the report, Duke pays the city $30 for every two tons of burned trash which adds up to enough power for roughly 45,000 homes for a day and adds $1 million a month to the county’s pockets.
Don’t get us wrong — recycling trash is definitely better for the environment than burning it. But since this is garbage that’s already there, burning it will actually help free up space for the landfill, which is estimated to be at capacity in 75 years. “That’s the only landfill we have,” Kelsi Oswald, Pinellas waste energy section manager, told the newspaper. “By taking that material back out of the landfill, we save that space for the future.” The plant in question has also met EPA’s standards for air quality, their website boasts.
For these Floridians, one man’s junk is the whole county’s treasure.