The Fredericton Regional Solid Waste Commission is now using the methane gas created by rotting garbage to produce electricity.

“It’s an opportunity,” says Gord Wilson of the Fredericton Regional Solid Waste Commission.

“You wouldn’t flare off an oil field, just as we’re not going to flare off an oil field. We’re going to produce power and we’re putting it on the grid.”

The methane collected from deep within the dump is piped to a new generating station. It is used to fire generators that will produce enough electricity to power more than 2,000 homes.

It’s a way of creating green energy at a low price.

“Energy that is dependable and reliable,” says Keith Cronkhite of NB Power. “And by entering into a long-term arrangement at a fair market price for the next 20 years, provides low and stable rates for our customers moving forward.”

The methane produced by rotting garbage will allow the power plant to generate electricity for between 50 and 70 years.

Today, while cutting the ribbon, the generators jumped to life. New Brunswick’s energy minister describes the project as one where environment meets economics.

“They’ve set the plan out for everybody to see,” says Energy Minister Craig Leonard.

“That it can be done and that it provides benefits as well. The landfill itself will be recovering quite a bit of revenue by selling the power to NB Power through the embedded generation program, and that’s a revenue source they didn’t have before.”

It’s environmentally friendly, economical and with a steady flow of refuse, the energy source could also be considered renewable.

With files from CTV’s Andy Campbell