Responsible Waste Management
Our landfills are engineered to be secure spaces to put trash, meaning the groundwater and surrounding area are protected from the trash inside using the best available practices and technologies. Our landfills also serve an important purpose of providing fuel for renewable energy generation.
Landfills are designed to protect groundwater, surface water and air quality. Each section (cell) of a Granger landfill takes about two years to construct (under the best possible weather conditions). This two-year schedule allows for the precise excavation of the cell, construction of a complex liner system for protection of groundwater and placement of a piping and drainage infrastructure (used to collect liquids and landfill gas for energy).
The liner contains layers of different materials to keep trash contained within the landfill. The materials include clay, a geocomposite material made from bentonite (a type of clay), a flexible membrane (plastic) liner, geosynthetic material to protect the membrane liner, pipes and sand.
Also within the landfill are numerous perforated, high density polyethylene (HDPE) pipes used to collect landfill gas and leachate (liquid that has come in contact with trash).
The leachate is collected and safely removed from the landfill.
Landfill gas collected from the landfill travels through the pipes to an on-site facility and is used to make renewable energy. Occasionally, there is more landfill gas than the generators can receive. When this happens, the gas is flared. Utilizing landfill gas in both of these ways reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
Rules, regulations and policies for Michigan landfills are set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) and local communities. Landfill owners follow stringent regulations, plus their own best management practices for landfill construction and operation in order to protect the environment.
These rules also determine which waste materials are prohibited from being disposed of in the landfill and from which areas of the state waste can be accepted.
Granger owns and operates two landfills in Michigan. Because we live by the Golden Rule, we strive to take care of our God-given resources and practice responsible landfill management. We were actually one of the first landfill owners in Michigan to begin using composite liners, even though at the time it wasn’t legally required.
Wood Street Landfill
Our flagship—Wood Street Landfill—is located in Lansing, Mich., directly behind our home offices. Wood Street Landfill accepts trash collected from commercial and residential customers by Granger trucks, as well as from industrial customers, local municipalities and small haulers. An electric generating station owned and operated by Energy Developments Limited is located on site to use the landfill gas collected to produce power for nearly 5,000 local homes.
- Current electric capacity of 8 megawatts (MW)
- Annual electrical energy production equivalent to power consumed by 4,789 homes
- The carbon emissions offset is equal to 44,258,278 gallons of gasoline consumed
Grand River Avenue Landfill
Grand River Avenue Landfill, which is located in Grand Ledge, Mich., is open for large customers by appointment only and is used for special projects. A renewable energy facility owned by Energy Developments Limited is located on site to use the landfill gas collected to produce electricity to power more than 1,900 homes.
Grand River Generating Station
- Current electric capacity of 3.2 megawatts (MW)
- Annual electrical energy production equivalent to power consumed by 1,915 homes
- The carbon emissions offset is equal to 17,703,311 gallons of gasoline consumed
About Landfill Gas
When organic material decomposes in a landfill, it produces landfill gas. This gas consists of approximately 50 percent methane, 45 percent carbon dioxide and small amounts of other components. The primary component of landfill gas, methane, is a greenhouse gas which can be more harmful to the environment than CO2 if it is not collected. At many landfills, methane is burned in a flare so it isn’t released into the environment. However, in a more productive operation, landfill gas is collected and used as a source of renewable power.
Advantages of Landfill Energy
Reliable source of energy, generated 24 hours a day, seven days a week
Can significantly reduce emissions of methane
Can decrease the need to generate energy from fossil fuels
According to the EPA Landfill Methane Outreach Program (LMOP), landfill gas projects also provide an array of benefits in the local economy:
Can create jobs associated with the design, construction and operation of energy recovery systems
Involve engineers, construction firms, equipment vendors and utilities or end-users of the power produced
Granger Disposal Centers
Granger Disposal Centers are open to the public for convenient self-hauling of household trash, large items and yard waste.
All Disposal Center customers must comply with Granger’s policies and waste acceptance guidelines.
To us, recycling is more than taking something old and turning it into something new. It’s about sustaining our earth’s God-given resources for future generations.