EQ – A National Pioneer in Waste-to-Energy
In 1986, The Environmental Quality Company (EQ) built Michigan’s first waste-to-energy plant, the Wayne Energy Recovery (WER) facility. WER uses gas naturally produced at the Wayne Disposal site in Van Buren Township, Michigan, to create electricity for Michigan homes and businesses.
Why Convert Waste to Energy?
This waste-to-energy process transforms a by-product of organic waste (such as yard waste, paper, clothing and food) decomposition in a landfill. Anaerobic bacteria eat organic materials and produce primarily methane and carbon dioxide. Methane is a leading contributor to the greenhouse gas effect.
The Process: Harvest and Gas
Wayne Disposal has six older master cells that contain municipal solid waste and treated hazardous waste from EQ’s MDI operation. EQ collects the landfill gas produced via a 180-well landfill gas collection system. EQ then burns the collected methane as fuel in four engines on-site to generate electricity.
DTE Electric, Southeastern Michigan’s electricity utility, distributes the 1.5 megawatts of electricity continuously produced by WER to DTE’s customers. In this way, WER powers over 1,600 homes annually, reduces carbon dioxide emissions from DTE Energies plants, does its part to lower ozone depletion gases and enhances the safe operations of EQ’s landfill.
Twenty-Eight Years of Electricity Production
Started in 1986, EQ’s Wayne Energy Recovery was Michigan’s first landfill gas-to-energy facility and an early example of its type nationwide. EQ’s Cedric Gibson has overseen WER and its landfill gas collection system since 1993. His team performs continual maintenance, compliance, and safety inspections on site. Even though some of WER’s engines have over 200,000 operating hours, periodic rebuilds and upgrades keep the engines running like new.
According to Gibson, “WER is one example of EQ’s Mission Statement in action, by providing creative industry leading solutions to environmental problems” Thank you to Cedric and the team at WER for your work to turn a waste gas into a community benefit.