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Date: 09-16-2008

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John Remy


Trash Powers Cars & Trucks

Landfill Natural Gas Operation Opens

Green Vehicle Fuel made from trash is now reality. The ribbon has been cut on SWACO′s Green Energy Center next to 4109 London-Groveport Road in Grove City, Ohio. The facility will convert landfill gas to compressed natural gas (CNG) for use in CNG powered cars and medium duty trucks.

“What once was an idea is now fuel to power America′s future” says SWACO Executive Director Ron Mills. “What was once waste is now energy to drive our economy. What once was considered the end of the line is now a starting point for economic development. Many times the answers to our problems are right in front of us, we just have to take a closer look!”

SWACO′s $18-million Green Energy Center is a public-private partnership with FirmGreen Fuels LLC. Phase one of the center, which opens today, will produce enough compressed natural gas annually to replace almost 250,000 gallons of gasoline plus additional natural gas sufficient to generate electricity for its own operation. The Center will reduce carbon emissions an amount equal to more than 15,000 barrels of oil or 630,000 gallons of gasoline per year. The CNG will be used initially to fuel SWACO vehicles (on site that day will be a SWACO CNG fueled Honda Civic and a SWACO CNG powered heavy duty Chevy pick-up truck). In the next 3 years SWACO plans to covert at a minimum, 9 fleet vehicles to CNG power.

SWACO is also working to establish a consortium of governments, schools districts and private companies that are interested in adding CNG vehicles to their fleets. The CNG will be available at a gasoline gallon equivalent rate of less than $3.00 (much less if the CNG is pumped from SWACO′s fueling station).

There is currently a 30-year supply of gas in SWACO′s Franklin County Landfill. Phase one of the Green Energy will tap approximately eight per cent (8%) of that supply.

Mills continues, “We take pride in the fact that the technology which will make our Green Energy Center unique is Ohio grown by Acrion Technologies of Cleveland. We are excited to show the world that the Greater Columbus region is ready to answer the call when it comes to our green future! This is not only power to drive our cars and trucks, it is power to drive the imagination. Just think of it, we are putting our trash to work for us! And in the process we are reducing our impact on the environment! Great accomplishments, indeed!” Mills points out that there are around 100 landfills across the United States similar in size to SWACO′s Franklin County Landfill. “Just think of how we could reduce our nation′s reliance on foreign energy if we harness the power of those other landfills.”

“What started 4 years ago as a vision has become reality today. By making use of waste gases generated from SWACO′s landfill, we will produce renewable transportation fuels and skilled jobs for Ohio,” says Steve Wilburn, founder and CEO of FirmGreen, Inc. “FirmGreen is very pleased and honored to have been selected to partner with SWACO to build the first Green Energy Center (GEC) in the U.S. FirmGreen believes the successful completion of the GEC concept positions Ohio at the forefront in the national effort to clean our air and lessen our dependence on foreign oil while providing the surrounding communities with clean affordable vehicle fuels and retraining Ohio′s displaced industrial workers to find work in the emerging green energy marketplace.”

SWACO is the Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio. We believe today′s throwaways are the foundation for tomorrow. In doing so, we act as a catalyst to bring about innovative waste reduction and recycling projects. Currently under construction is the RASTRA project which will mix post consumer polystyrene with cement to construct lightweight building panels that are a highly insulated, moisture proof, fire proof and termite resistant.

SWACO also provides consumers recycling opportunities around Franklin County (Ohio) through 212 recycling drop off-locations, at major sporting and entertainment venues, at Columbus City Schools, The Columbus Arts Festival and other locations. SWACO provides leadership and advice for businesses wishing to begin recycling and waste reduction programs as well. We also operate the Franklin County Landfill, three transfer stations, and other programs. More on SWACO at

Quick Facts of SWACO′s Green Energy Center

•Phase one of SWACO′s Green Energy Center will produce enough CNG to replace 685 gallons of gasoline daily or almost 250,000 gallon annually.

•Natural gas from SWACO′s Green Energy Center will produce electricity to power the building itself.

•SWACO will be able to sell/deliver CNG at a gasoline equivalent rate of less than $3.00 a gallon. Less than $2.00 a gallon equivalent when sold at the Green Energy Center. SWACO′s CNG prices are not subject to market conditions because the product and technology have known costs.

•SWACO′s Franklin County Landfill currently has enough trash to produce natural gas for over 30 years. Phase one of SWACO′s Green Energy Center will use just 8% of the currently available gas.

•SWACO plans to convert 9 vehicles of its fleet in the next 3 years to CNG. However the technology now exists which could accelerate the fleet conversion.

•SWACO is currently exploring the idea of a consortium with local governments, schools districts, and private businesses to market the CNG.

•SWACO′s Green Energy Center will reduce carbon emissions by an amount equal to more than 15,000 barrels of oil or 630,000 gallons of gasoline per year.

•SWACO′s Green Energy Center is in partnership with FirmGreen Fuels of California. Any Natural Gas produced at the Green Energy Center (Phase one) not used by SWACO will be purchased by FirmGreen. Phase two of the Green Energy Center will be constructed by FirmGreen. It is currently slated to produce pipeline quality natural gas for sale to private industry.

•SWACO′s Green Energy Center uses a process invented by Acrion Technologies of (Cleveland) Ohio to clean landfill gas and turn it into CNG.