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 1A. 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. While that infrastructure is being developed, a flare is being used to burn off the landfill gas before it enters the atmosphere or causes odors.

 

What can I do if I smell landfill gas?

If you would like to report it, contact Lee Squires at 919-518-0274. It is important that you include the date, time and location where you smelled the odor. We record each reported incident and compare that with weather reports including barometric pressure, wind speed and wind direction. This information will also help us make sure that the gas collection and control system is operating at full capacity.

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