CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Officials are looking to approve a project that would help to harvest the natural gases produced by the trash at the Cefe Valenzuela Landfill.
The project would bring in at least $10,000 dollars a month in new revenue.
Gas extraction devices sit on top of about 18 gas wells at the Valenzuela Landfill. The EPA requires that the landfill gas be burned off because it is one of the most potent greenhouse gases, and a huge contributor to climate change.
"50-percent of the landfill gas is actually comprised of methane, about 50-percent, plus or minus," said Director of Corpus Christi Solid Waste David Lehfeldt.
City council will be asked on Dec. 20, to sign off on a 40-year lease for a company to come in and build a gas plant at the landfill. The aim is to turn the gas that is produced into a pipeline quality product. Corpus Christi councilman Greg Smith said that the city stands to make a large profit off the deal.
"We will get a minimum of $10,000 a month or $120,000 a year and if they're selling a lot of gas we get a 10-percent royalty on that. So no matter what we'll get $10,000 a month and hopefully we will be getting a lot more," Smith said.
3NEWS was told that the landfill is finally producing enough gas to make a deal like this possible.
"As the landfill grows more, gas is produced, so the royalty portion of it, the 10-percent we'll be getting in royalty should be a much bigger number than that $10,000," Smith said.
Another bonus is that all of the cleaned up gas may remain in the Corpus Christi area and be used to benefit the community.
"It's possible that some of the gas we're pulling out of the landfill will actually be used to heat our homes here, or to burn in our garbage trucks, which is a real cool part of the program," Lehfeldt said.
3NEWS was told that there are hundreds of projects like this around the country that are already operating, and that there are 122 in the state. If the council approves of the plan, Lehfeldt said the pipeline quality gas could be produced within six months.
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