Greenhouse Gas Reduction
The Solid Waste Authority of Palm Beach County reduces greenhouse gas emissions throughout its Renewable Energy Park facilities and activities, including:
- Renewable Energy Facility 1 and 2
- Recycling programs
- Landfill gas management systems
- Transfer Stations
West Central Transfer Station
Renewable Energy Facility 1
Renewable Energy Facility 2
Greenhouse Gas Meters
Sunset over SWA Greenway Trail System
Renewable Energy Facilities
At the Renewable Energy Facilities the SWA reduces greenhouse gas emissions by generating electricity using garbage as a fuel source. This system decreases the volume of waste that goes to the landfill, limiting methane generation. Methane is 21 times more potent than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas.
Recovering & Recycling Materials
The SWA Recovered Materials Processing Facility recycles nearly 2 million tons of paper, plastic, aluminum and glass. At Renewable Energy Facility 1 and 2, the SWA recovers metals, such as iron and aluminum. Manufacturing products from recovered materials uses less energy and reduces greenhouse gas generation compared to mining and the production metals from raw materials.
Landfill Gas Management
The SWA landfills generate gases which are collected through the landfill gas management system. This system prevents emissions from being released into the atmosphere. These gases are used to generate energy and run the dryers at the Biosolids Pelletization Facility, reducing the SWA's reliance on fossil fuels.
The SWA Transfer Stations reduce greenhouse gas emissions and pollution through enhanced transportation efficiency. Curbside haulers collect garbage in neighborhoods and businesses. The haulers transfer this garbage to one of the six SWA transfer stations. There the garbage is consolidated into SWA tractor trailers which hold about five to seven curbside truck loads of garbage.
In one year, the transfer stations save approximately 11 million miles on Palm Beach County’s roads and nearly 2.5 million gallons of diesel fuel. The SWA will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 28,000 tons. (Figure based on 2,778 grams x 0.99 x 44/12=10,084 grams or 10.1 kg/gallon or 22.2 lbs per gallon; fact check, source: EPA.gov.)
- Solid Waste Management and Landfill Gases (EPA)
- Renewable Energy Facility
- Transfer Stations
- Meeting the Future: Evaluating the Potential of Waste Processing Technologies to Contribute to the Solid Waste Authority’s System (A White Paper) (PDF)