A waste-to-energy scheme, initiated by Cork City Council, is in operation at the Kinsale Road Landfill Site since October 1996.
The landfill at Kinsale Road has been accepting municipal waste from Cork City for over 40 years. Methane gas (CH4) is produced from the decomposition of the landfilled organic waste. Methane gas is approx. 21 times more powerful greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide (CO2).
In order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Cork City Council decided to collect and use the methane gas produced at the site to generate energy. The landfill has been capped with a gas proof liner and over 150 wells have been drilled in order to to allow the safe extraction and collection of the gas. The gas is then fed into a Combined Heat and Power plant where 1.8MW electricity is generated (which is equivalent to approximately 4% of the city’s domestic electricity demand). The electricity is being sold to the national grid.
Although the Kinsale Road Landfill will have reached its nominated capacity in the next 4 or 5 years, gas will continue to be produced for another 20 years. Once the landfill is closed, it is proposed that the site itself will be transformed into a recreational park for the citizens of Cork.