Roanoke Valley landfill to convert methane gas into renewable natural gas

SALEM, Va. – A Roanoke Valley landfill plans to take trash, and turn it into something good. The Smith Gap Regional Landfill will repurpose methane gas from trash decomposing into renewable natural gas.

“It is truly one of those win-win-win situations that we’ve managed to get ourselves into,” said Jeremy Garrett, Roanoke Valley Resource Authority director of operations and technical services.

Garrett said Roanoke Valley Resource Authority has been working to find a partner like Archaea Energy for about two years.

“We’ve been meeting all the environmental standards, but we did that through means of flare, so we were actually just burning off that excess gas,” Garrett said. “Now we’ll be capturing it, cleaning it, and actually it will be a commodity to be used elsewhere.”

Garrett said not only will this change be better for the environment, it should also decrease any odor. Plus, the project will be done at 0 net cost to the Roanoke Valley Resource Authority.

“This is one of those rare opportunities where not only do we get to do what’s right from a business sense, but it also directly aligns with what’s right from an environmental sense,” Garrett said.

Garrett said Archaea Energy has already gotten to work and hopes to complete construction by 2025.

“They will have to build a facility to scrub the gas and prep for it for putting into the system,” Garrett said.

From there, it’ll be added to the market, but Garrett’s not sure where it’ll go yet.

About the Author

Amy Cockerham joined the 10 News team in January 2023.