Harnessing the power of landfill gas to create a green, clean energy source is a hallmark of the Altamont Landfill. It was one of the nation’s first landfills to install turbines to convert landfill gas to electricity in 1987. Today, it generates enough electricity to power the equivalent of 8,000 homes annually as well the daily operation of its acclaimed landfill gas to liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant.
The Altamont LNG plant is the most successful facility of its kind. Built in 2009, the facility is a joint venture between Waste Management and Linde North America, a leading gases and engineering company. It is designed to produce 13,000 gallons of clean-burning natural gas daily – enough to power nearly 300 Waste Management collection vehicles in California every day.
Use of this near-zero carbon fuel eliminates nearly 30,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually. According to the California Air Resources Board, it is the lowest carbon density fuel available today. To learn more about our facility, watch our "From Refuse to Refueling" video on our home page.
Landfill gas is comprised of half methane gas and half carbon dioxide. It is a naturally occurring greenhouse gas created by the decay of organic materials in a landfill. The Altamont features a state-of-the-art vacuum extraction system and network of wells to capture the gas, convert it to green power, and flare any residue to prevent it from entering the atmosphere.
Without adding another morsel of organic waste to the Altamont Landfill, it is estimated the LNG plant will generate fuel for the next 30 years. Converting landfill gas to a green alternative to fossil fuel is the ultimate closed-loop approach to managing historic waste streams.
In the Bay Area, Waste Management of Alameda County (WMAC) fuels 1/3 of its collection fleet and 100% of its transfer trackers with natural gas. WMAC is committed to converting its entire fleet to natural gas. To support this initiative, it is building natural gas fueling stations at the Altamont Landfill, the Davis Street Transfer Station and other Bay Area facilities.