Greenhouse Gas Reduction
The Solid Waste Authority reduces greenhouse gas emissions throughout the Palm Beach 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 Trailway
Renewable Energy Facilities
At the Renewable Energy Facilities the SWA reduces greenhouse gas emissions by producing electricity that otherwise would have been generated by burning fossil fuels. This system also decreases the volume of waste that goes to the landfill, limiting methane generation, which is 21 times more potent than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas.
Recovering & Recycling Materials
The SWA Recovered Materials Processing Facility recycled 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 new products from recovered materials consumes less energy and significantly reduces greenhouse gas generation compared to mining and production of metals from raw materials.
Landfill Gas Management
The SWA landfills generate gases which are collected through our landfill gas management system to effectively prevent emissions into the atmosphere. These gases are harnessed to produce energy to help run the Biosolids Pelletization Facility. This landfill gas to energy project helps reduce 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 business and transfer it to one of the six SWA transfer stations. There the garbage is consolidated into SWA tractor trailers which hold about three to four curbside truck loads of garbage.
In one year the Transfer Stations will save nearly 11 million miles on Palm Beach County’s roadways and nearly 2.5 million gallons of diesel fuel. The SWA will reduce CO2 emissions by 28,000 tons this year. (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)