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Renewable Energy and Clean Fuels


The Sanitation Districts have played a significant role in reducing air emissions and developing emissions controls in our solid waste management and wastewater treatment operations. Ongoing projects include processing landfill gas into compressed natural gas (CNG) for use as an alternative fuel; converting Sanitation Districts' owned transfer trucks for use with alternative fuel; purchasing CNG vehicles, where feasible; and constructing CNG fueling facilities at various Sanitation Districts' locations.


Technologies such as as fine bubble diffusion, variable speed drives, and high-efficiency motors have allowed the Sanitation Districts to save millions of dollars in power costs.


Biogas, generated during the decomposition of organic material managed in landfills, is used to generate electricity.  At the Puente Hills Landfill alone, enough electricity is generated to power about 60,000 Southern California homes.  Most of this power is sold to the local power gird, with the remainder used at the nearby San Jose Creek Water Reclamation Plant.


The use of solid waste as a fuel to produce power reduces our reliance on fossil fuels while helping to prolong the remaining landfill capacity in the region.  The Commerce Refuse-to-Energy Facility (CREF) is the first of its kind in California.  Similarly, to CREF is the Southeast Resource Recovery Facility (SERRF) in the City of Long Beach. These facilities utilize controlled combustion to convert refuse to electricity—enough to power approximately 55,000 Southern California homes. Sophisticated air pollution control devices make these facilities some of the cleanest of their type in the world.