Republic Services, Inc. will now begin providing biogas from its McCarty Road Landfill to the Anheuser-Busch brewery in Houston for use as an alternative fuel source. The project was developed as part of a partnership with Ameresco that constructed and operates a biogas processing facility on the landfill's property.
Once processed by Ameresco's operation, the gas is carried through a six-mile pipeline to the Anheuser-Busch brewery to help generate steam energy for the brewery's power plant. More than 55 percent of the brewery's fuel demand will be supplied by this new alternative fuel source.
The benefit of this clean energy project is equivalent to planting more than 121,050 acres of pine or fir trees or taking 97,550 motor vehicles off the road. Additional gas from the McCarty Road landfill also is captured, processed and sold to a local utility.
"McCarty Road Landfill has been an important part of the community for more than 34 years," said Rusty Waldrup, area president, Republic Services. "As a key employer and a long-time supporter of community initiatives, we're excited to be part of an important alternative energy project."
McCarty Road Landfill is the main recipient of refuse from the residents and businesses in east Houston and the surrounding suburbs. The landfill employs more than 124 area residents.
"We routinely evaluate innovative energy technologies to help support our operations and reduce our reliance on fossil fuels," said Richard Wohlfarth, general manager of Anheuser-Busch's Houston brewery. "In addition to utilizing this alternative source of fuel, through active conservation efforts at our Houston brewery we've reduced our fuel usage by 15 percent and our electricity use by more than five percent in the last 18 months. We take great pride in our ongoing efforts to reduce our environmental impacts by increasing efficiencies at our facilities and using innovative technologies while maintaining our quality standards."
"This project is truly a marquis project for both Anheuser-Busch and Republic Services," said Michael Bakas, Ameresco's vice president renewable energy. "The entire team was dedicated to making this renewable energy project happen despite the challenges." The project broke ground in March of 2008 and was completed in May of 2009.
Republic Services plans for a portion of their project revenue to go toward area non-profit causes. Harris County Commissioner El Franco Lee will assist Republic Services in identifying worthwhile causes in communities around the landfill.
Landfill biogas, which is created when organic material in a municipal solid waste landfill decomposes, consists of about 50 percent methane, a greenhouse gas that is 21 times more potent than carbon dioxide. It is a readily available, local and alternative energy source that offsets the need for fossil fuels. The gas can be converted and used in many ways: to generate electricity, heat or steam; or as an alternative vehicle fuel.
Such projects are win-win opportunities for all parties involved, whether they are the landfill owner/operators, the local utility, the local government, or the surrounding community. Even before landfill gas projects produce profits from the sale or use of electricity, they produce a related benefit for communities: jobs. These projects involve engineers, construction firms, equipment vendors, and utilities or end-users of the power produced. Much of this cost is spent locally for drilling, piping, construction, and hiring operational personnel, providing additional economic benefits to the community through increased employment and local sales. Once the system is in place, the captured gas can be sold for use as fuel or be converted and sold on the energy market as a renewable "green" power. In so doing, the community can turn a financial liability into an asset and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The McCarty Road Landfill gas project is one of 75 alternative energy projects at Republic Services' landfills nationwide.
About Republic Services
Republic Services is a leading provider of solid waste collection, transfer, recycling and disposal services. Allied Waste merged with Republic Services in December 2008. Republic Services, Inc. has been building on success since its inception in 1998, becoming an industry-leading provider of waste and environmental services. The company provides trash collection services to commercial, industrial, municipal and residential customers in 40 states and Puerto Rico through its 400 collection companies. Republic Services owns or operates 242 transfer stations, 213 solid waste landfills and 78 recycling facilities. The company is headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona and has 34,000 employees. For more information, visit the Republic Services web site at www.republicservices.com.
Based in St. Louis, Anheuser-Busch is the leading American brewer, holding a 49.2 percent share of U.S. beer sales. The company brews the world's largest-selling beers, Budweiser and Bud Light. Anheuser-Busch also owns a 50 percent share in Grupo Modelo, Mexico's leading brewer. Anheuser-Busch ranked No. 1 among beverage companies in FORTUNE Magazine's Most Admired Global Companies list in 2009. Anheuser-Busch is one of the largest theme park operators in the United States, is a major manufacturer of aluminum cans and one of the world's largest recyclers of aluminum cans. The company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch InBev, the leading global brewer, and continues to operate under the Anheuser-Busch name and logo. For more information, visit www.anheuser-busch.com.
Ameresco is the largest independent energy service company in North America. In addition to its expertise in developing landfill gas projects and other renewable energy sources, Ameresco has two other energy service lines--energy conservation and energy risk mitigation. The company has more than 550 employees in 50 regional offices throughout North America, and it has constructed more than $4 billion in energy projects throughout the world. Learn more at www.ameresco.com.
First Call Analyst: Flower, Will
SOURCE: Republic Services, Inc.