Construction has started on the first of its kind plant in the U.S. designed to convert trash into fuel.
Entsorga broke ground on the 48,000 square foot operation January in Martinsburg, West Virginia. It will use a mechanical-biological process–not incineration–to extract plastic and other carbon-based materials from people’s garbage and convert it into a replacement for coal and other fossil fuels.
The product will replace coal currently being used at a nearby energy-hungry concrete plant. It is calculated that when the plant is up and running in 2017, it will produce 50,000 tons of fuel from the trash that would otherwise go into the landfill every year.
The company says their fuel creates similary or lower greenhouse gases than comparable fossil fuels, but converting the waste will cut the amount of carbon dioxide emissions from area landfills by 28,000 tons per year.
Entsorga has used the process in Europe, converting trash to fuel in the UK, Italy, Greece and parts of Eastern Europe since 1997.
(WATCH the video from Entsorga West Virginia below)