I recognize the right and duty of this generation to develop and use the natural resources of our land; but I do not recognize the right to waste them, or to rob, by wasteful use, the generations that come after us. - Theodore Roosevelt 1910

Girl Throwing Away TrashTheodore Roosevelt not only recognized the importance of preserving natural resources for future generations, he also translated this environmental ethic into policy. Roosevelt took action by establishing the US National Forest Service and protecting 194 million acres of land in national parks and nature preserves. Today, it is our responsibility to carry on his efforts and take action to conserve natural resources by lowering consumption, recycling, and promoting clean energy solutions.

Recycling is a vital way to conserve resources for future generations, supply valuable raw materials to industry, prevent the emission of water pollutants and greenhouse gases, and stimulate the development of greener technologies. In 2006, recycling and composting efforts diverted 82 million tons of material from disposal in landfills in the US.

However, Americans still produced 251 million tons of trash - which is approximately 4.6 pounds of waste per person per day.

Unfortunately, the amount of waste we create is only one part of the problem – the way trash is disposed of can also be damaging to the environment. When 251 million tons of waste begins to decompose, it releases large amounts of harmful gases into the atmosphere. Methane, one of the most destructive greenhouse gases, is the main component of landfill gas. To prevent the release of landfill gas into the atmosphere, environmentalists and engineers discovered that they could burn the unwanted gas and produce electricity in the process.

Instead of allowing landfill gas to escape into the air, it can be converted, and used as a local renewable energy source.

According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Landfill gas is the only renewable energy source that, when used, actually removes pollution from the air. In addition to these environmental benefits, using landfill gas is cost-effective and generates local economic opportunities.

In Springfield Missouri, the Noble Hill facility is already generating renewable energy from landfill gas. The Noble Hill landfill produces 3.2 megawatts of renewable electricity — enough to power about 3,000 homes each year. There are 12 other facilities in Missouri that have recently expressed interest in capturing and using landfill gas to produce renewable energy. You can support renewable energy from the Noble Hill landfill and increase the demand for new landfill gas projects by signing up for AmerenUE’s Pure Power program.

Submitted by Pure Power



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