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Ada County Landfill converting landfill gas to renewable natural gas in 2023

“This is one giant step toward our commitment of being 100% clean energy by 2045,” Ada County Commissioner Kendra Kenyon said.

BOISE, Idaho — The Ada County Board of Commissioners signed an agreement with LFG Development Tuesday to convert landfill gas at the Ada County Landfill to renewable natural gas (RNG) beginning in 2023. 

According to a press release from Ada County, the landfill's Hidden Hollow Energy plant has been owned by LFG Development since 2018 and has been operating since 2007. 

The Ada County Landfill currently converts its landfill gas to electricity and sells it to Idaho Power. Beginning in 2023, LFG Development will work with Ada County to convert landfill gas to renewable natural gas, by a process of cleaning and conditioning. 

“This is one giant step toward our commitment of being 100% clean energy by 2045,” Ada County Commissioner Kendra Kenyon said.

Landfill gas is the by-product of organic materials' decomposition within a landfill, such as Ada County's, after the communities' trash is buried. According to Ada Co., switching to renewable natural gas "will significantly reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions."

“As one of the fastest growing areas in the country Ada County must have programs in place that protect our environment and our quality of life in a fiscally responsible manner,” Ada County Commission Board Chair Rod Beck said. “This agreement positions Ada County as a leader in responsible landfill management.”

The Ada County Landfill is an enterprise fund and all its revenue is generated by gate rates for the public to dump their trash, as well as waste conversion projects such as this agreement with LFG Development. 

According to Ada Co., the new project with LFG Development's revenue will be shared with the county and "will have a direct impact in offsetting rising costs in other areas to keep landfill tipping fees competitive."

“We’re truly excited to build upon our existing partnership with Ada County and put the landfill’s gas to its highest and best use- Renewable Natural Gas,” LFG Development CEO Ahren Tryon said. “Fully utilizing the gas and no longer flaring a significant portion of it is simply the right thing to do from a conservation perspective.”

Ada Co. said demand for renewable natural gas is growing across the United States due to its low carbon intensity and its ability to contribute to sustainability goals for organizations such as the county's. According to officials, RNG also can offset the use of higher carbon fuels, such as fossil natural gas and diesel. 

“We are literally turning trash into cash for our taxpayers,” Ada County Commissioner Ryan Davidson said. “This process of capturing landfill gas and converting it to a usable and sustainable product is something that will benefit the entire Treasure Valley and beyond.”

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