ClimateSmart™ Buys Landfill Greenhouse Gas Reductions From Recology
Release Date: March 10, 2010
Contact: PG&E External Communications (415) 973-5930
On behalf of its approximately 30,000 ClimateSmart™ customers, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) today announced a contract with Recology for the purchase of greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions from Recology's Yuba-Sutter landfill near Marysville, California. This investment will help combat climate change by yielding 47,000 metric tons of verifiable GHG emission reductions, bringing the ClimateSmart program's total metric tons purchased on behalf of its customers to more than 1.1 million metric tons.
"The ClimateSmart program is pleased to invest for a second time in a Recology project, which is turning garbage into verifiable greenhouse gas emission reductions on behalf of our ClimateSmart customers," said Wendy Pulling, director of environmental policy for PG&E. "This project will help ClimateSmart customers such as Sierra Nevada Brewing Company balance out the greenhouse gas emission associated with their operations, while helping to produce jobs and revenue for the local community."
The ClimateSmart program is a voluntary, tax-deductible program that allows enrolled customers to balance out the GHG emissions produced by the energy they use. To participate, customers pay a separate amount on their monthly energy bill, based on their actual energy use. The average residential customer pays less than five dollars per month. PG&E invests all payments in new, independently verified projects that reduce or absorb GHG emissions.
"We are taking many steps to help protect the environment. Source reduction and reuse remain top priorities. We also provide the most advanced recycling and compost programs in the country which help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This project helps to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions," said Dave Vaughn, vice president and general manager of Recology. "We are pleased to enter into our second contract with PG&E's ClimateSmart program as we look for new ways to further reduce the carbon footprint of the communities we serve."
Landfill gas contains methane, which is produced as the landfill waste naturally decomposes. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, methane is at least 21 times more potent than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas.
The ClimateSmart program's investment in Recology will allow for the installation of gas wells and collection piping, which will capture landfill gas that is currently being released to the atmosphere. The collected gas will be combusted in an on-site flare. Without the investment from the ClimateSmart program, the landfill gas would continue to be released to the atmosphere.
The Yuba Sutter landfill project, estimated to last for three and one-half years, will be verified under the rigorous standards developed by the Climate Action Reserve, a national registry working to ensure environmental benefit, integrity and transparency in the carbon market. The Recology project will benefit enrolled customers by adding to the ClimateSmart program's robust GHG emission reduction project portfolio, which also includes forestry and dairy projects.
"We are pleased to be part of the ClimateSmart program, which makes Recology’s important and innovative Marysville landfill methane capture project possible," said Cheri Chastain, sustainability coordinator of Sierra Nevada Brewing Company. "Contributing to the ClimateSmart program is just one more way we can help balance out our greenhouse gas emissions and invest in our communities."
PG&E enrolled as the first participant in the ClimateSmart program by committing approximately $1.5 million of shareholder funds over the first three years of the program to make the energy use in the company's facilities completely carbon neutral. To date, approximately 30,000 customers, including homes, businesses and cities, have enrolled in PG&E's ClimateSmart program.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric utilities in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation's cleanest energy to 15 million people in northern and central California. For more information, visit www.pge.com/about/. For more information about PG&E's ClimateSmart program, visit www.joinclimatesmart.com.
Recology is a 100 percent employee-owned company that provides garbage and recycling services to more than 600,000 households and 60,000 commercial customers in the western United States. Recology is on a mission to transform the industry from its current state of waste management to a new world focused on resource recovery and optimization. As part of this change, Recology has adopted a rallying cry of– Waste Zero. For more information about what Recology means to you, the communities it serves and the planet we all share, please visit www.recology.com.