What is landfill gas?

Landfill gas is created as the organic waste in the landfill decomposes. Landfill gas is made up of approximately 50% methane, approximately 50% carbon dioxide, and trace amounts of other gases. These other gases actually cause the odor, which smells a lot like – you guessed it – garbage! The methane that is found in the landfill gas can be used to produce energy for beneficial uses, such as to power industrial processes or to produce alternative “green” energy.

How is landfill gas collected from the landfill?

A series of vertical gas collection wells have been installed in the sideslopes and top of Phase 1. These wells extend into the waste and collect landfill gas, which flows from the waste under pressure. Gas collected by the wells is routed through a series of pipes. Wake County has contracted with a firm to produce electricity from the gas. When maintenance takes place at the energy plant, a flare is also used to burn off the landfill gas before it enters the atmosphere or causes odors.


Energy Production

  • The Landfill Gas-to-Energy facility is currently producing ±7.5 Megawatts of continuous power.
  • 7.5 Megawatts of electricity can power a minimum of 7,500 homes during peak demand and about 15,000 homes off peak.
  • The landfill gas-to-energy facility was designed to increase capacity to produce up to 12 Megawatts of continuous power.
  • Based on landfill gas projections the gas-to-energy facility could one day provide sufficient power for the Town of Holly Springs' residents.


  • Prevents greenhouse gases produced by landfills from entering the atmosphere.
  • Provides a local, renewable fuel source to generate electrical power.
  • Reduces our dependence on nuclear and fossil fuels to produce power.
  • Generates revenue for the County through the sale of electricity.
  • Creates jobs, and encourages economic development.

Watch a video about the South Wake Landfill Gas-to-Energy Project.


Have questions or need more information? Contact Lee Squires or call 919-856-7400.