From Waste to Wealth: Growing Your Landfill’s Revenue with an RNG Project

Posted on Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Landfills are essential to the communities they serve. In addition to waste management services, landfills can generate employment opportunities, contribute to local economic growth and drive initiatives to better their communities. To sustain and enhance these benefits, maximizing a landfill’s revenue is crucial. With increased revenue, landfills can optimize their operations and invest in upgrades that further increase their positive impact on the environment and the community. A turnkey method to increase landfill revenue is to utilize the landfill’s biogas to its full potential. 

Rather than flaring landfill gas, it can be used to create renewable energy and in turn, economic and environmental benefits for the landfill. Depending on the landfill’s size and how much biogas it produces, landfills could provide medium-Btu gas directly to a nearby manufacturing plant, use the landfill gas to generate electricity or upgrade the biogas to renewable natural gas (RNG) that transportation companies can use instead of diesel or for utilities and large corporates to use in place of conventional natural gas. As of July 2023, there were 532 operational landfill gas energy projects in the United States,1 and that number continues to grow. These landfills are now earning more revenue while decreasing emissions and have the option to fund additional initiatives within their community. Landfill leadership can also use the earnings to improve their operation by funding efforts that span attracting and retaining labor, improving safety and ensuring compliance efforts. If your landfill’s budget has been a challenge in the past, a renewable energy project could be the answer to improving its bottom line. 

An RNG project could be the most lucrative way to use your landfill’s biogas. While all renewable energy projects are a great way to diversify a landfill’s revenue stream, demand for RNG continues to rapidly grow and landfills play an essential role in fulfilling that demand. Regulatory policy, like the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS), are driving that demand as these standards both aim to decrease the carbon intensity of transportation fuels while promoting the use of renewable fuels. When landfill-derived RNG is sold into the transportation space, it creates credits called Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs).2 Obligated parties can procure RINs to demonstrate compliance with the Renewable Volume Obligations set by the RFS. 

Other industries are also looking to RNG as a turnkey solution for their sustainability goals. Utilities are integrating RNG into their energy mix to meet government mandates and carbon reduction goals. Corporations are leveraging RNG to minimize environmental impact, progress toward their corporate sustainability goals and improve business performance. In March 2024, the Securities and Exchange Commission approved a new rule requiring public companies to disclose their greenhouse-gas emissions3, adding to the regulatory pressure for companies to advance sustainability efforts. 

Is your landfill ready to increase its revenue with an RNG project? We’ll work with you to customize a solution that best fits your landfill. Whether you need to transition from an existing landfill energy project or are just starting out, our integrated RNG development solutions simplify the experience now and long term.

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1.    Basic Information about Landfill Gas | US EPA
2.    Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) under the Renewable Fuel Standard Program | US EPA
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