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Landfill Gas Fuels New Brick Plant

Release Date: 10/20/2006
Contact Information: Roxanne Smith, (202) 564-4355 / smith.roxanne@epa.gov (media only) Victoria Ludwig, (202) 343-9291 / ludwig.victoria@epa.gov (technical questions only)

(Washington, D.C. - Oct. 20, 2006) For the first time, a major U.S. manufacturing facility has been sited and built next to a landfill specifically to use the landfill gas as fuel. The new Jenkins Brick Company's $56 million manufacturing plant in Moody, Ala., will use landfill gas to fuel its kilns, satisfying 40 percent of the plant's energy needs initially, with 100 percent projected in 10 years as the landfill grows. The project will also reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 62,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per year, the equivalent of planting nearly 14,700 acres of forest.

"For centuries, bricks have been the building blocks of society, and now, by turning landfill waste into wealth, Jenkins Brick is also helping build a clean and plentiful energy supply for America," said EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson. "Through investments in renewable energy technology, President Bush and EPA are securing the power that builds our economy."

Methane is the primary component of landfill gas, which results from the natural break-down of buried waste in a landfill. Reducing methane emissions provides immediate environmental benefits because methane, a greenhouse gas, is over 20 times as potent as carbon dioxide at capturing heat in the atmosphere. Capturing and using methane as a clean fuel also provides economic and energy-security benefits.

The company's new plant is one of the largest of its kind in the nation. The facility was located and designed to reduce operating costs and greenhouse gas emissions by using clean energy from a nearby landfill. Jenkins Brick and Veolia Environmental Services, the owner of the landfill providing the gas, partnered with EPA's Landfill Methane Outreach Program to create a first of its kind landfill gas energy project. The facility is expected to benefit the local economy by creating approximately 55 new jobs.

"Our years-long cooperation with EPA's LMOP program has provided us with valuable technical expertise as we identify ways to save money -- and the environment," said Mike Jenkins IV, CEO of Jenkins Brick Company. "In building this innovative facility, our American-owned company shows that it is much more than a brick manufacturer and distributor."

Jenkins Brick Company, headquartered in Montgomery, Ala., has been using clean-burning landfill gas to fuel its Montgomery brick plant since 1998. The success of this project convinced Jenkins management to build its next manufacturing facility to take advantage of local landfill gas.

EPA's Landfill Methane Outreach Program is a voluntary assistance and partnership program that promotes the use of landfill gas as a renewable, green energy source. By preventing emissions of methane through the development of landfill gas energy projects, the program helps businesses, states, energy providers, and communities protect the environment and build a sustainable future. Over the past decade, EPA has assisted with more than 300 projects and reduced methane emissions from landfills by about 27 million metric tons of carbon equivalent.

The program also assists countries throughout the world in developing landfill methane reduction projects through the U.S.-government led Methane to Markets Partnership.

Information on EPA's Landfill Methane Outreach Program: epa.gov/lmop/

Information on the Methane to Markets Partnership: http://www.methanetomarkets.org