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Climate Change

Beneficial Use
of Landfill Gas

When organic material decomposes in an anaerobic environment such as a landfill, it naturally produces gases that include methane.

Landfill gas, or biogas, is recognized by the U.S. EPA as a renewable energy resource and is used beneficially as a fossil fuel alternative. WM captures landfill gas and turns it into renewable electricity and fuel at 146 of the active landfills we own or operate. Crucially, biogas is a form of “baseload” renewable energy, which means it can be used nearly continuously, unaffected by changes in weather or other variables. Today, WM operates the largest landfill gas-to-energy program in North America, generating five times more renewable electricity from our landfills than we use as a company.

WM generates 5X more renewable electricity from our landfills than we use in our operations

Beyond electricity generation, we are also a leader in converting landfill gas into natural gas fuels that are distributed for use in residences, businesses and commercial vehicles, including our own. Renewable natural gas (RNG), produced from processed landfill gas, now fuels over 55% of our natural gas trucks.

We are continually looking for opportunities to develop projects that enable landfill gas to be beneficially used as renewable electricity or renewable fuel, including nitrogen rejection technologies and new forms of carbon capture. Proximity and accessibility to energy infrastructure makes projects more cost effective. While larger landfills tend to have greater potential, smaller landfills can also support beneficial use projects.

WM Landfill Gas Beneficial Use Projects
Type of Project Projects MW
Renewable Energy

Processed gas can be used to fuel electricity generators. The electricity is then sold to public utilities, municipal utilities or power cooperatives. Under these arrangements, the amount of renewable electricity delivered into the grid by one user must equal the amount of renewable electricity taken off the same grid by another user. These processes have been used to offset traditional electricity with renewable energy for decades.

Power 100 360
Off-Site Power 4 20
Renewable Fuel

Gas can also be processed to pipeline-quality renewable natural gas that is fully interchangeable with conventional natural gas and is sold to natural gas suppliers. For other projects, gas is used at the landfill or delivered by pipeline to industrial customers as a direct substitute for fossil fuels in industrial processes. Finally, for a small number of projects, gas is piped to an off-site third party and used as heating fuel.

Medium BTU Fuel 10 15
Liquid Waste Disposal 16 6
Renewable Natural Gas 16 30
Total 146 431

WM Landfill Gas Project Locations

See the locations by clicking below.

New Landfill Gas Infrastructure

Our newest and most advanced RNG facility is located at our Skyline Landfill in Ferris, Texas. This new facility began injecting pipeline-quality gas into the Atmos Energy system in early 2020 and has the capacity to treat up to 5,000 standard cubic feet per minute of incoming landfill gas. This gas is extracted through an elaborate series of wells and pipes, then routed to the RNG facility, where CO2 and nitrogen are removed.

New RNG facilities in progress include the East Oak Facility in Oklahoma City and the Sainte-Sophie Facility in Quebec, both existing landfills. Up to 20 projects are in early stages of development across the U.S. and Canada.

Making Landfills More Sustainable

Investments in technology are helping us continually reduce our landfills’ environmental impact. For example, predictive maintenance systems enable plant managers to develop more efficient operational practices. We have prototyped an automated gas wellhead for use at closed landfills, which monitors landfill gas levels with little interaction needed from technicians. This Connected Landfills system mitigates emissions that occur at closed landfills, while reducing the number of miles that technicians must travel on foot to monitor wellheads.

WM continues to explore ways to better measure, and therefore manage, fugitive landfill emissions. This issue has become increasingly important for our industry, and we are working with several technology providers and organizations, including NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Air Resources Board and Carbon Mapper, to tackle this complex challenge. Satellite imagery, aerial flights and on-the-ground sampling will inform and improve ongoing measurement. These technologies will bring a new perspective and offer insight into the location and concentration of emissions. Based on tools implemented to date, we are seeing promising results for leak detection and repair. We will continue to support research and studies on accurate ways to estimate and measure landfill emissions over time. Through these efforts, we expect to achieve our goal of developing a system for measuring fugitive emissions by our 2025 target date.

Fuel for Tomorrow

Take a tour of our new Skyline RNG Facility, where trucks are fueled with gas generated at our own landfill.

WM Landfill Gas Project Locations

* Indicates more than one location in the same town

Gas to Industrial Customers

Piedmont, AL

Ragland, AL

Campbellton, FL

Baton Rouge, LA

Frederic, MI

Harrison, MI

Maple City, MI

Zeeland, MI

Sugar Creek, MO

Houston, MS

Pass Christian, MS

Bennington, NE

Watford, ON

Pine Grove, PA

Somerset, PA

Wellsboro, PA

Ste-Sophie, QC

Dorchester, SC

Elgin, SC

Charles City, VA

Glenns, VA

Jetersville, VA

King George, VA

Waverly, VA

Berlin, WI

Wisconsin Rapids, WI

Renewable Electricity

Jacksonville, AR

Springdale, AR

Surprise, AZ

Livermore, CA

Novato, CA

Aurora, CO

New Milford, CT

Campbellton, FL

Naples, FL

Pompano Beach, FL

Dry Branch, GA

Savannah, GA

Valdosta, GA

Lake Mills, IA

Mitchellville, IA

Beecher, IL

Calumet City, IL

Davis Junction, IL

East Peoria, IL

Elgin, IL

Grayslake, IL

Naperville, IL

South Elgin, IL

Taylorville, IL

Wilmington, IL

Danville, IN

Elkhart, IN

Logansport, IN

Michigan City, IN

Monticello, IN

Portland, IN

Winslow, IN

Wyatt, IN

Renewable Electricity

Topeka, KS

Irvine, KY

Morehead, KY

Chicopee, MA

Granby, MA

Taunton, MA

Westminster, MA

Norridgewock, ME

Birch Run, MI

Harrison, MI

Lennon, MI*

New Haven, MI*

Orion, MI*

Burnsville, MN

Elk River, MN

Glencoe, MN

Houston, MS

Kernersville, NC

Bennington, NE

Rochester, NH

Virginia City, NV

Boonville, NY

Chaffee, NY

Fairport, NY

Lincoln, NY

Riga, NY

Geneva, OH

Glenford, OH

New Springfield, OH

Carp, ON

Petrolia, ON

Arlington, OR

McMinnville, OR

Renewable Electricity

Erie, PA

Greencastle, PA

Newburg, PA

Morrisville, PA

Pen Argyl, PA

Pine Grove, PA

Taylor, PA

Washington, PA

Drummondville, QC

Elgin, SC

Wellford, SC

Camden, TN

Heiskell, TN

Aledo, TX

Austin, TX

Cleveland, TX

Lewisville, TX

New Braunfels, TX

San Antonio, TX

The Colony, TX

Charles City, VA

Glenns, VA

Hampton, VA

Jetersville, VA

King George, VA

Waterbury, VT

Berlin, WI

Bristol, WI

Franklin, WI

Menomonee Falls, WI

Watertown, WI

Weyerhaeuser, WI

Whitelaw, WI

Renewable Natural Gas

Livermore, CA

Conley, GA

East Saint Louis, IL

Shawnee Mission, KS

Louisville, KY

Belleville, MI

Three Rivers, MI

Dayton, OH

Waynesburg, OH

Cairnbrook, PA

Davidsville, PA

Irwin, PA

Monroeville, PA

Vintondale, PA

Ferris, TX

Humble, TX