Midstate manufacturer cuts electricity bill by using landfill gas

Written by Craig Layne and Megan Lello | Dec 5, 2012 4:00 AM
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(Leola) -- A midstate manufacturer plans to cut its electricity bill nearly in half by using gas given off by landfills.

Dart Container Corporation's factory in Leola, Lancaster County, is now powered by two gas turbines generating about 11 megawatts of electricity.

Plant Manager Clarence Wenger says the on-site turbines are fueled by methane gas that's captured from decomposing waste in the Conestoga and Lanchester landfills in Lancaster and Chester counties.

He says they're are like jet engines in many ways, including how they produce a lot of heat.

"A jet engine has an exhaust with a lot of heat coming off," Wenger explains. "We use that heat to super-heat water, generating steam, which we use in our manufacturing process."

Dart makes food containers, like disposable hot beverage cups.

Wenger says the plant started work on the gas turbine project in 2009.

The electricity generated is roughly equivalent to the amount of power needed for 6,000 homes.

Check out other alternative energy projects at StateImpact Pennsylvania.

Published in Lancaster, News

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