One person's trash is another's electricity

Monmouth Country Reclamation officials may have found a way to turn trash into cash by converting garbage into electric energy.

Garbage releases methane gas as it decomposes. Pipes have been installed underground at the Tinton Falls dump to vacuum the gas out and blow it into a generator. Impurities are filtered out as the gas is collected, and an engine then converts the methane into electric engery.

County officials say the move will help reduce taxes. "Taxpayers should care about this because we're using this green energy, this renewable energy to make profits for the county, which directly goes into offsetting taxes," says Monmouth County Freeholder William Barham.

Officials believe it will take two years to break even on the project. Once the initial costs are recouped, Monmouth County hopes to save more than $1 million on its electric bill.

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