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A New $54 Million Gas Treatment System Virtually Eliminates Landfill Sulfur Odor

Friday, October 13, 2023

The new Sustainable Gas Treatment System at WIN Waste Innovations of Seneca County has been up and running for more than three months, and with that comes a new era for the company and the community.

For four years, we’ve been in compliance with a comprehensive consent order that set strict deadlines to allow time to purchase and construct a system to address some significant challenges with hydrogen sulfide (H2S) gas that were inherited from previous owners.

Now, we’ve gone beyond that consent order and the emissions limits that were part of our 2014 permit and we’re meeting a new, much stricter standard for H2S — one that should virtually eliminate sulfur odors from the landfill. Already, we’ve seen far fewer calls to our odor hotline since the system became operational in June.

WIN Waste Innovations didn’t spend the past four years just waiting for the treatment system, a $54 million investment, to be built. A number of interim measures reduced odors significantly from the unacceptable levels we inherited in 2019:

  • A 125-foot flare to burn off H2S with less odor impact.
  • An interim gas treatment system.
  • Odor-control blankets for active areas of the landfill, i.e., those not yet permanently capped.

These measures kept us in compliance with the consent order, and we’re proud of that performance. Still, we wanted to operate with the highest possible quality and the new treatment system provides that by removing 98% of H2S present in the landfill gas. The new operating permit we received in March has emissions limits 30% below those of the 2014 permit — and we’re more than meeting them.

In addition, we hired eight people to operate the system, further expanding WIN Waste’s positive impact on the Seneca County economy.

WIN Waste Innovations of Seneca County remains committed to equipping the landfill with the best technology available and practicing operational excellence.

Toward that end, the gas treatment system is an achievement to celebrate.

PLUNGING EMISSIONS

Monthly measurements of sulfur dioxide emissions from WIN Waste Innovations of Seneca County show the dramatic positive impact of the gas treatment system. Immediately after the June 5 activation of the system, emissions dropped by 81%, to a level below the limit established by our Ohio EPA permit. The EPA issued the permit in December 2021 in anticipation of the gas treatment system being constructed. In the interim, a limit of 248 tons per month was declared to be protective of human health; this limit has never been exceeded under WIN Waste Innovations management of the landfill. The new, lower emissions limit of 28.08 tons per month takes effect 180 days after the activation of the treatment system. That date is Dec. 2, but as the readings show, emissions are already well below that amount.

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