In a formal ceremony on Tuesday, October 30, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency acknowledged LMOP partners Morrow Renewables, LLC and IESI of Progressive Waste Solutions for their efforts to improve the community and the environment by utilizing landfill gas to create energy.

Along with the North Texas District collection and hauling operation, that serves Collin County, and houses 100 employees in McKinney, the Progressive Waste Solutions (formerly IESI) Texas Region office is also located in McKinney. The Region office, headed by Progressive Waste Solutions VP and Texas Region Manager John Gustafson, a former McKinney Chamber Board member, oversees the operations of 40 other locations housing 1200 employees who service 300 municipal contracts in Texas. The Texas Region office in McKinney also houses  the region’s  safety manager, comptroller, public affairs manager and administrative support. In addition to municipal contracts Progressive Waste’s Texas operations include recycling facilities, like the McKinney LEED Gold Material  Recovery Facility, transfer stations and landfills. 

The collection and processing of renewable biogas from landfills has become valuable to companies and utilities that are taking measures to reduce their carbon footprint by adding renewable fuels to their portfolio of energy supply. To this end, Progressive Waste Solutions has worked cooperatively with Morrow Renewables, LLC to develop a project that captures 1,300 standard cubic feet per minute of gas from Turkey Creek landfill. Carbon dioxide, water vapor, hydrogen sulfide, oxygen, and other impurities are removed from the raw landfill gas so it can be sold into an adjoining natural gas pipeline and meet their gas quality specifications.

For over ten years, the owners of Morrow Renewables, formerly SouthTex Renewables, have developed and worked with cutting edge technologies for the removal of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), CO2, H2S, BTEX and other contaminants from landfill gas to create pipeline-quality, high BTU gas ready for pipeline distribution. Morrow Renewables operates several LFG recovery and treatment plants in the southern U.S., essentially installing and running the entire operation in partnership with local landfills and waste professionals with a monthly residual for partners.

For landfills that generate one-half million tons of waste per year or more, this means a residual revenue stream that far exceeds the cost of gathering landfill gas (LFG), and a versatile plant infrastructure that can capitalize on other markets like compressed natural gas (CNG) and medium-BTU industrial fuels. What this means for the surrounding community is a landfill renewables plant that, unlike power generating stations, has lower noise pollution and less than half the CO2 and particulate emissions. What this means for the world is a major impact on human-induced methane levels, while still managing to create energy and fuel from trash.    

Recent studies by the United Nations and by NASA Goddard Space Institute show that it is critical to reduce methane pollution globally, beginning immediately. According to the study, capturing methane and diverting it for use has the potential to offset climate change the most. The most recent US EPA emission estimates indicate that methane contributes 44% of the entire greenhouse gas inventory of the US. Globally, human activity accounts for roughly sixty percent of the world’s methane production and the majority of human-induced methane can all be traced to one area: landfills. Reduction of methane levels from landfills can significantly slow short-term global warming.

Morrow Renewables, as the name suggests, is owned by brothers Luke and Paul Morrow, both managing directors, and their father, David Morrow, who founded the parent company, SouthTex Treaters, Inc., and who is still with Morrow Renewables as an engineering consultant and business adviser. Under its former identity as SouthTex Renewables, Morrow Renewables established a legacy of excellence, and a reputation as one of the top firms in America for design, construction, start up, and operation of high BTU landfill gas and biogas treatment plants.

The U.S. EPA estimates the annual reduction of greenhouse gases attributable to the Turkey Creek project is approximately the same as the annual greenhouse gas emissions from 28,000 passenger vehicles, the carbon dioxide emissions from more than 350,000 barrels of oil consumed, or the carbon sequestered annually by more than 35,000 acres of pine or fir forests.

Morrow Renewables currently operates several high BTU LFG-to-Pipeline plants across the South, including the new Turkey Creek facility. Another LFG plant in Fort Bend (outside Houston) is due for start-up in early 2013.

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About Morrow Renewables, LLC:
Morrow Renewables is an established high BTU developer of modified Selexol-type landfill gas treatment and processing facilities, providing an integrated, end-to-end landfill gas-to-energy (LFGTE) solution to the municipal solid waste (MSW) sector. Morrow Renewables is a vertically integrated company that designs, manufactures, constructs and operates high BTU LFG facilities. The company is staffed by professionals with many years of experience in LFG gathering, compression, treating and marketing, as well as NSPS compliance assistance. Morrow Renewables holds a patent on carbon dioxide stripping of pre-treat solvent for landfill gas applications, as well as two patents pending for deeper stripping of solvent to achieve higher methane purity in sales gas.