Columbia receives Missouri's first bioreactor permit

Monday, April 27, 2009 | 12:14 p.m. CDT; updated 12:41 p.m. CDT, Monday, April 27, 2009

COLUMBIA — The Missouri Department of Natural Resources has given Columbia the go-ahead to operate its landfill as a bioreactor, according to a City of Columbia news release. Columbia's landfill is the first in Missouri and one of only 10 in the nation to utilize bioreactor technology for the disposal of trash, the release stated.

"We are very excited about this project, and believe this cutting edge technology will transform the operation of landfills in the future," said Richard Wieman, manager of the Columbia Solid Waste Division. "This project is one small part of our renewable energy effort."

The landfill currently operates as a gas-to-energy plant, burning the methane produced there to power 1,000 to 1,200 homes. Bioreactor technology will increase the rate that gas is generated by 35 to 50 percent, allowing the plant to generate more energy, according to the release.

Check back with the Missourian for more later.

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