Rockingham Memorial Hospital openly embraces a practice most medical centers would cringe over: The hospital uses waste to clean its surgical utensils and to sterilize its equipment. Of course this isn’t waste in the traditional sense, it’s the utilization of waste gas from the nearby Rockingham County Landfill in the Hospital’s boilers to produce the heat necessary for a variety of hospital operations.
The Rockingham County Landfill began its project by installing an active gas collection system in March 2008. The system captures and destroys the methane gas produced when organic material inherent in the landfill waste anaerobically decomposes. The captured gas stream (approximately 50% methane and 50% carbon dioxide) has multiple commercial uses, including electricity generation, direct thermal energy, injection into the natural gas grid or vehicle fuel.
In this specific case, the landfill gas is conditioned and cleaned of any impurities and piped approximately 2.5 miles to the Rockingham Memorial Hospital. The County owns the pipeline used to transport the gas, the facility and all the processing equipment. The Hospital owns and operates the boilers, the energy generation facility and all the equipment used to produce steam, heat and electricity for its internal use.
This innovative project is a triple win for Rockingham County, Rockingham Memorial Hospital and the environment. With the assistance and technical expertise of Bluesource, this project successfully navigated the VCS validation, verification and registration, producing high-quality carbon offsets that have been sold to qualified buyers.