Turning trash into treasure

Thanks to RMI.
By Lori Stone and Matthew Popkin

A.D. In 1937, a dumpster was erected in most of the Black Houston neighborhood of Sunnyside. Since then, residents of that community have been paying the price. From “flies, rats, mice and odors” to the death of an 11-year-old boy, the cinema has had a negative impact on the quality of life of the community for more than 80 years. The Trash was closed in 1974 due to the presence of lethal lead, but health and environmental impacts still exist. Or so far.

The 240-acre landfill will soon be a 52-megawatt solar farm, the largest solar power plant and the second largest brown solar plant in the country. There are more than 10,000 closed and inactive garbage dumps around the United States that offer similar opportunities. These landfills store waste for years and years and are of limited use. Therefore, solar panels will enable counties and municipalities to regenerate large, vacant spaces that could harm the local community.

New RMI report, The future of garbage dumps is brightClosed waste bins across the United States are estimated to hold an estimated 63 gigabytes of solar energy to generate 7.8 million U.S. homes or the entire South Carolina state.

From Brownfields to Brightfields

Among the Bunnafield places, closed waste bins are often sunny. For one thing, although some closed waste bins can be reused as open spaces or golf courses, most have no future plans. This is partly due to the presence of potentially hazardous materials and waste gas wells in these areas, both of which limit access to schools, shopping and housing development. Therefore, solar installation on landfills prevents land use from colliding with other economic, agricultural, residential or recreational activities. In fact, in Texas alone, there are more than 94,000 acres of closed waste, which can generate approximately 27 GW of electricity.

Paul Koran, Managing Director of Biki Energy Development and co-founder of Sunnis Project, said: This land may or may not be used for public service, but it often represents a great resource for generating clean energy.

Garbage bins also often have little shade and are connected to electrical infrastructure and roads because they are already in use. In addition, federal and state programs subsidies and other incentives for site evaluation, cleaning, and recycling of garbage can help reduce the additional costs that may come with less land. But perhaps most importantly, the installation of solar panels on garbage dumps helps to promote local justice, especially in communities where community leaders deliberately place garbage near non-white communities or push low-income neighborhoods into garbage dumps.

A bright place to inspire communities

Throughout the United States, landfills are often housed in color communities. A.D. The U.S. Department of Energy has come into contact with race, poverty, and waste disposal decisions in 1982 following a series of protests by black communities in Warren County, North Carolina. According to one study, “three out of five African Americans and Hispanics live in high-risk areas.

Sunside waste is far less than white in the census and much richer in the city and state (almost 98% of the non-white population is only over 75% in the city). The area’s average household income is just 59 percent of the city’s average and Texas’s average of 51 percent.

Mayor Sylvester Turner said: “Sunside has eroded the environment, depriving the community of growth and opportunities.” “It is our responsibility and responsibility to look at historically unpredictable areas and find ways to lift these communities.”

That’s why the idea of ​​switching to a solar farm with other community organizations could be a game changer. “This’s formerly Sunside waste disposal site is, above all, a real benefit to this solar farm… and the developers are committed to saving the project life. – The developer of the project. “Sunside Sun Farm will be a good neighbor for the community.”

The proposal now calls for up to 50MW of solar power, 2MW of community solar, battery storage and agricultural center and training center, all to be locally employed and partnered with the community. The Houston project continued to move forward, and the city accepted the lease and selected a development team to design and build the project.

This will greatly rejuvenate the community. Recycling of garbage can bring temporary construction work and permanent work and repairs to unused areas. This will not only boost the local economy but also benefit local businesses that support these workers. The Sunnyside project is expected to create 600 jobs. And our research shows that installing solar panels on 2,134 closed waste bins in Texas will create more than 300,000 jobs.

Community members at Sunnyside are excited about the project. Rodney Jones, chairman of Sunnyside TIRZ, said: It tells the way investors are understanding. We hope that this will serve as an example of how unsustainable communities can find a lasting solution.

How to ensure a bright future for garbage dumps

In The future of landfills is brightWe will explain how states and local governments can encourage flooding with policies and incentives. We provide lessons learned from governments that have tested and refined their policies, motivational structures, and best practices over the past decade. Our findings, analyzes, and research must provide transparency to community sustainability and environmental protection for elected officials, policymakers, planners, developers, and communities how litter can be part of a broader clean energy and land use strategy. Goals of Justice.

According to the Houston Senaide project, the installation of sunlight on landfills will encourage renewable energy, job growth and community mobilization, regardless of existing green spaces or parks. Delivering this to more than 10,000 closed and inactive landfills will benefit both communities and the climate. According to Curran, “the chances of repeating this concept reliably are very high.

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