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Sonoma County Waste Management Agency

Landfill gas power plant


Landfill gas power plant

Methane from buried garbage is collected and converted into 3 MW of electrical energy, enough to power a community of 7,200 people.

Download a .pdf fact sheet About Central Disposal Site (PDF: 60 KB)

From 1972 until 2005, Sonoma County’s solid waste was landfilled at the Central Disposal Site. Between October 2005 and September 2010, garbage collected in Sonoma County was hauled by truck 20-80 miles to several different landfills outside Sonoma County. In September 2010, solid waste accepted at the Central tipping facility started being landfilled at Central Disposal Site again with solid waste from the rural sites continuing to be landfilled outside Sonoma County.

With nearly 24 million cubic yards of solid waste in place, the Central Disposal Site produces landfill gas. Gas is collected from 150 collection wells and transported through 4 miles of pipeline to the landfill gas-to-electricity facility. At its peak in 2005, the Landfill Gas Power Plant produced 7.5 mega-watts (MW) of renewable electrical energy 24 hours/day, seven days/week, enough to power a community of 18,000 people. Over time, gas output has declined mainly because garbage was not buried at the site for 5 years.  Currently, the Landfill Gas Power Plant produces about 3 MW of renewable electrical energy. Power gets sold to the Sonoma County Water Agency, a member of the Power and Water Resources Pooling Authority, to help transport potable water throughout Sonoma County.

Location of Landfill Gas Power Plant and BioGas Filtration Plant:

Central Disposal Site
500 Mecham Rd.
Petaluma, CA 94952

Sonoma County Waste Management Agency ● 2300 County Center Drive, Suite B-100 ● Santa Rosa, CA 95403