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Seattle’s Trash to Generate Even More Clean Electricity for City Light

(re-posted from Seattle City’s Light’s blog)


The Columbia Ridge power plant in Oregon.

Seattle’s trash will soon generate even more clean energy for Seattle City Light customers.

Waste Management is doubling the generating capacity of its Columbia Ridge landfill gas power plant in Oregon and City Light will buy all the electricity it produces.

“Even the trash we throw away is a resource that can be used to generate clean electricity,” said Jason Rose, Area Vice President. “We are completing the circle of sustainable practices, maximizing the resources of even our garbage to find new, alternative energy in an environmentally responsible manner.”

Seattle Public Utilities ships Seattle’s garbage to Columbia Ridge for disposal. Since 2009, Waste Management has captured the methane created by the decaying garbage and used it to fuel a power plant on site. City Light then purchases the electricity that is produced and uses it to help power the more than 400,000 homes and businesses it serves.

Currently, Columbia Ridge has the capacity to generate 6.4 megawatts of electricity. The expansion is expected to be ready for commercial operations in August with a new capacity of 12.8 megawatts. That’s enough electricity to power about 12,500 typical Seattle homes.