Trash to become renewable energy at Glendale landfill

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9 p.m. Extra: Trash Energy

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Power for the people is coming from a most unlikely source.

It is smelly, it is messy and people just cannot wait to throw it away. Yes, we are talking about the trash.

While many of you think it is nothing but garbage, it is actually going to be turned into renewable energy at the Glendale landfill.

Stuart Kent, the field operations director for the City of Glendale, says, "They're essentially going to build a gassed energy plant here." In partnership with other environmental companies the city is working to turn trash into electricity for APS customers in the west Valley.

Kent explains, "We want to make sure we're doing everything we can to be as environmentally responsible as we can."

So what exactly goes into the process of turning trash into power? Steven Gotfried, a spokesperson for APS, tells 3TV, "As organic material is decomposed into this landfill a byproduct is made called methane gasand for the past many years this landfill has burnt off this methane gas. Well today, we're going to be able to take that energy that's being wasted by just being burnt off and converting that into electrical energy."

The converted landfill gas will power as many as 750 homes and improve air quality. Gotfried says, "It's going to bring green jobs, green energy and it's going to help bring a greener lifestyle to the people in Phoenix." He adds, "As APS goes forward, we have a growing demand for electricity, and by 2025, we're going to have to have 50% more electricity for our customers than we have today and part of meeting that new demand will be renewable energy."

Right now there are at least 400 of these types of projects operating across the country.

Kent tells 3TV, "Gas energy projects aren't necessarily new in terms of landfills, but it's really new in the Valley for us and you have to have the right landfill with the right mix to generate the methane to make it all work."

The energy plant is expected to be up and running by the end of the year.