Changes in waste processing methods across the group mean the nature of waste material that eventually reaches the landfill has altered considerably. Only pre-treated wastes are permitted into the facility. This means only the residual wastes remaining at the processing facilities following the removal of wastes which are suitable for energy recovery, materials recovery and re-use. Materials such as inert wastes, bulky wastes, waste with low calorific value and stabilised wastes are managed appropriately at the Drehid facility.
Bord na Móna opened its 5MW Landfill Gas Utilisation Plant at Drehid in late 2013. The ‘waste to energy’ project is an expansion of Bord na Móna’s portfolio of power generation assets and converts waste into energy at the state of the art engineered landfill site in Drehid, Co. Kildare. Methane gas is generated during the decomposition of waste within the fully lined landfill and is used as a fuel to generate electricity.
A leading benefit of using landfill gas (methane) for the provision of electricity is its ability to deliver stable, continuous supplies of electricity to the power grid while at the same time displacing the equivalent amount of non-renewable carbon based power. The landfill gas is collected through a series of pipes which are fitted throughout the landfill. Initially, it was directed to a series of flares which burned the gas to break down the methane, a particularly harmful greenhouse gas. Once the landfill gas could be collected and processed however, it can be used to fuel a combustion engine which drives generators to create electricity.