Going Green: Madison County Landfill
YNN's Terry Ettinger tells us about Madison County Landfill, and it's solar panel system that has garnered international attention.
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CANASTOTA, N.Y. -- Most of the closed portions of Madison County Landfill have topsoil brought in to cover the area, with grass planted on top. However, some portions of the landfill are covered with plastic, and attached to the plastic is an array of flexible solar panels.
"The power output has been excellent. It's been working and performing as we expected, approximately 40,000 killowatt hours per year, and it's producing what we're expecting," said Jim Zecca, Director of Madison County Department of Solid Waste.
The solar power is being used to run the Madison County Recycling Center. Zecca said they decided on flexible solar panels, rather than the typical rigid panels, because an active landfill has settlement issues.
"So it wasn't a good fit for a closed landfill site that has a lot of movement in it during the process of decomposing waste," Zecca explained.
The solar power system has attracted a lot of attention.
Zecca said, "We've had a lot of folks visiting from all over the country. We've had international folks here. There was a group of female Russian scientists and engineers that stopped by last year."
Madison County's solar power system is one of only three in the entire country. Landfill operators are very anxious to see how the system works in a tough northeastern winter.
"We didn't have a good test this past winter. As we all know, we didn't have a lot of snow and ice in Central New York, so we didn't get the test. We were hoping for a hard winter, but next year, I'm sure we'll get to test that," noted Zecca.