Seal of Dane County County of Dane
County Executive's Office

Construction of "Carbon Capture" Technology to Begin at Dane County Landfill

January 08, 2015
Joshua Wescott, Chief of Staff, 608-266-9069
County Executive

Pilot Project to Grab Greenhouse Gas Among Several Upgrades to Make “Hardest Working Landfill in Midwest” Cleaner and Greener in New Year


County Executive Joe Parisi announced today Dane County is the first in the nation to install technology to capture the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide from its landfill.


The county board is expected to give final approval of a $387,000 contract this evening, enabling construction to begin on the project pioneered by the Executive in his 2015 budget.


“This carbon capturing system is our latest innovation to make sure we handle waste and recyclables cleaner, and greener than any other place in the country,” Parisi said.  “Landfills give off a lot of CO2 and while the global climate may not be front and center in people’s minds in the middle of this week’s cold, this technology will stop emissions equivalent to over 11,000 cars from getting into our air.” 


Parisi noted one of the goals of the pilot project moving forward will be evaluating other uses for the carbon dioxide that’s captured, similar to the way Dane County currently converts methane given off by the landfill into millions of dollars a year in green energy as part of an agreement with Madison Gas and Electric.


The technology aims to reduce up to 59,000 tons of CO2 naturally emitted annually by the landfill and convert it into new potential revenue sources.


In addition to capturing carbon, Parisi’s budget for this year also includes $50,000 for a study to evaluate the feasibility of capping a soon-to-be-closed portion of the Rodefeld Landfill with a cover that would generate solar energy.


Additionally, construction is complete on an expansion of the current landfill site, preventing the county from having to purchase, develop, and operate a brand new, more costly landfill location.  It’s expected the first waste will be placed into the new expanded site adjacent to the Rodefeld hill in the coming weeks.


Parisi also announced today that a proposed expansion of the Dane County recycling center funded in his budget for this year is also moving forward on schedule.  Dollars to design the new facility have been approved by the County Board, equipment is slated for order this spring, with construction occurring this summer.


“Our new and improved recycling center will improve our ability to recycle concrete and building materials closer to home, stopping 40 semi trips a week currently needed to move these products to other markets,” Parisi said. 


He noted the expansion would save the County $600,000 a year while continuing to divert thousands of tons of construction waste from unnecessarily filling the landfill.  Since the current facility started operating in 2013, it has diverted over 65,000 tons of materials away from the landfill and recycled them for other uses.


The new recycling center will create 20 local green industry jobs, people who will help sort and recycle goods brought to the facility.


“Through innovation and a determination to do what’s best for our air, land, and water, we are running a cutting edge solid waste and recycling operation deserving of its reputation as a national leader,” Parisi concluded.