The Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio (SWACO) has said it is committed to reducing its carbon footprint and has released a carbon emissions management plan that it calls a comprehensive strategy to reduce carbon emissions that fall under of its operational and financial control by 64% by 2032.
SWACO, which serves Ohio’s capital Columbus, as well as the rest of Franklin County and some neighboring areas, says the plan was designed to put the agency’s CO2 emissions in accordance with the International Paris Agreement.
The agency says the plan covers landfill gas, SWACO’s fleet of vehicles and equipment, and energy and waste management practices at the organization’s headquarters and other facilities. .
The plan also “highlights the innovative public-private partnerships that SWACO has created to further reduce landfill gas and help partner organizations reduce their overall emissions by reducing their reliance on landfills by reducing waste and by increasing reuse, recycling and composting programs, ”says SWACO.
“SWACO’s stated vision is a community that is both environmentally responsible and resourceful,” says Ty Marsh, Executive Director of SWACO. “We want to follow suit when it comes to protecting our environment, which is why our plan identifies measures to reduce the carbon footprint of our facilities. “
Concretely, the plan aims to:
- reduce emissions from SWACO’s fleet of vehicles and equipment; SWACO will continue to transition its fleet from gas and diesel fuel to alternative fuel sources, mainly compressed natural gas and electricity;
- reduce electricity and fuel for buildings; SWACO will implement conservation measures to reduce energy consumption at its head office and other facilities and will consider incorporating renewable energy sources, including wind, solar and geothermal energy, into its power supply;
- reduce waste by continuing to recycle, compost and reuse materials and by supporting circular economy practices, including the purchase of supplies made from recycled content; and
- reduce landfill gas emissions; SWACO will continue to engage in a public-private partnership to capture and reuse the methane generated in the Franklin County landfill that it owns and operates, and will continue to offer programs and services to help the community reduce its dependence on the landfill.
The agency says it is already using “innovative best practices at landfill to capture and reuse methane produced by decomposing waste.” To accomplish this, SWACO is partnering with Michigan-based Aria Energy to capture landfill gas at the current Franklin County sanitary landfill site and convert it into a resource that heats the equivalent of some 30 homes. from central Ohio each year.
More recently, SWACO announced a new partnership with New York-based BQ Energy to install a 50 megawatt solar panel at a closed landfill in central Ohio. The solar panel will be one of the largest at a closed landfill site in the country and, when operational, will produce enough electricity to power 100 homes per year, SWACO said.
“When we choose to take personal responsibility and reduce the amount of waste that we individually create, and decide to recycle and compost more, we reduce our dependence on landfills and can continue our efforts. region to stop climate change, ”says Jeff Wilkins. , Administrative Director of SWACO and Team Leader for the Carbon Emissions Management Plan.
SWACO will also continue to offer programs and services directly to businesses and residents to divert organics and other waste from landfills, through programs such as Save More Than Food and Recycle Right, Make a Difference.
“I am proud of the steps taken by SWACO to reduce its carbon footprint and minimize its role in climate change,” says Marsh, “We want people to know that they can count on us to do our part in making the center of Ohio a safe and resourceful place to live.