Blue Ridge Landfill and Morrow Energy turn waste into renewable natural gas in Fresno

Chaz Miller Image
Friday, April 22, 2022
Trash to treasure: Local landfill turns waste to renewable natural gas
A landfill in Fresno, Texas, has come up with a creative way to turn decomposing waste into a power source.

FRESNO, Texas (KTRK) -- The saying "one man's trash is another man's treasure" is especially true at Blue Ridge Landfill in Fresno, Texas.

The 1700-acre facility is able to turn waste into renewable natural gas.

"We take what is perceived as a problem. And we come up with a solution for it," said environmental manager Raymond Whitlock. "Something that is benefitting the community around us directly right now."

How does it work?

There are hundreds of extraction sites around the landfill, and each site removes methane gas from decomposing waste.

The methane is sent via pipeline to a processing plant on the landfill's grounds called Morrow Energy.

Morrow Energy takes that methane and turns it into natural gas that can power fleets, power plants, and more.

"That pipeline quality gas is injected into a pipeline right here locally," said Paul Morrow, the founder of Morrow Energy. "It can be transferred anywhere in the United States."

What's the advantage from an environmental standpoint?

"It's produced from a source that would normally go to the atmosphere," said Morrow. "Without these landfill gas collection systems, the gas would either be into the air or a flare system where it can't be used."

Blue Ridge, which Republic Services owns, says they do flare some gas, but the majority goes through the process of renewable natural gas.

"We move about three 18-wheeler trailers worth of gas per minute," said Whitlock.

Morrow says there are approximately 100 landfills across the country performing this technique, but few do it at the level of Blue Ridge.

"This is one of the top five facilities in the country for volume," said Morrow.

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