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Project comment response – December 18, 2009
All TerraPass projects undergo a public comment period while they are being evaluated for inclusion in our portfolio, so that the general public can provide feedback and ask questions. Below is TerraPass’ response to the comments received for the Crow Wing County Landfill in Brainerd, Minnesota.
This project’s comment period was open from November 4 to December 4, 2009. We publicized the open comment period in a blog post, including the blog summary email which was distributed to over 25,000 active recipients. We received two comments during this time.
Both comments expressed concern over the fact that the gas is being flared rather than put to productive use. One of the comments also raised concern over the lack of any companion efforts to remove organics from the waste stream.
We agree that the landfill gas should be put to productive use whenever possible. However, such uses are often infeasible at smaller landfills, due to the heavy capital costs involved in electricity generation or other applications. Fortunately, even flaring the gas provides a significant environmental benefit. Methane is a greenhouse gas 21 times more powerful than carbon dioxide. Destroying it prevents it from reaching the atmosphere.
We also agree that organic waste diversion programs are worthwhile. During our site visit, we were impressed by the great lengths the county landfill goes to reduce the waste stream, achieving an impressively high recycling rate. Perhaps in the future the landfill will initiate a composting program as well.