Senate approves Pavlov bill enabling more energy generation from landfills

LANSING–The state Senate voted Thursday to make it easier for landfills across Michigan to generate energy and preserve water quality using landfill bioreactors.

Senate Bill 473, sponsored by Sen. Phil Pavlov, will promote further development of a promising domestic energy source.

The measure will provide greater flexibility in developing bioreactor projects in Michigan. Landfill bioreactors have shown to dramatically increase the decomposition of solid waste in landfills and exponentially increase clean energy outputs in the form of methane.

A law sponsored by Pavlov allowed the Smiths Creek Landfill in St. Clair County to develop this technology in 2007 by creating a bioreactor demonstration project onsite.

“Evidence from the Smiths Creek project indicates liquid waste can be applied to landfills in a safe and secure manner,” said Pavlov, R-St. Clair Township. “This legislation will provide flexibility to promote expanded use of this energy potential while providing sufficient oversight.”

Pavlov said Michigan has an opportunity to be a leader in clean energy production while reducing landfill waste and removing otherwise unsafe disposal method of liquid waste. He said landfill bioreactors in Michigan have enormous economic and environmental potential for the state.

The next step in this innovative technology is pursuing bioreactors in existing landfills with single liners.

“By continuing to support bioreactor projects, we have an opportunity to produce tremendous amounts of clean energy from waste, increase the breakdown of waste in our landfills, and divert the unsafe application of liquid waste,” Pavlov said.

SB 473 now heads to the House of Representatives for further consideration.