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October 16
Landfill methane: A multi-beneficial alternate fuel

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Did you know that atmospheric methane is one of the most potent greenhouse gases on Earth? Surprisingly​, it poses an exponentially higher threat to global warming than carbon dioxide (Princeton Journal Watch). 

As an industry whose product - carpet - was once the second highest contributor to landfill waste, we have taken enormous strides as a collective to divert carpet from landfills. Since the inception of the Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE), CARE members have diverted more than 3.25 billion pounds of post-consumer carpet from U.S. landfills (2013 CARE Annual Report). 

Diverting waste from landfills is critical for numerous reasons, among them being the consumption of precious green space and emission of harmful chemicals into the atmosphere. Landfills create a prime environment for methane emissions with decaying organic matter and anaerobic conditions (GHG Online). ​According to the EPA, "Municipal solid waste (MSW) landfills are the third-largest source of human-related methane emissions in the United States."​

However, we can harvest landfill methane for renewable energy that provides an alternate to traditional fossil fuels and also removes a greenhouse gas from the atmosphere. The implications are powerful.

The EPA states, "Using landfill gas helps to reduce odors and other hazards associated with landfill gas emissions, and it helps prevent methane from migrating into the atmosphere and contributing to local smog and global climate change." 

As a manufacture​r, we feel a responsibility to invest in renewable energy to power operations while also taking steps to make the world more sustainable. To accomplish this, almost half of the energy used to make our carpets comes from renewable resources, such as water and methane. In fact, we receive​ more than 80% of harvested methane from the LaGrange, GA landfill, and our hydroelectric plant in South Carolina provides 10% of company-wide electricity annually. 

These efforts have enabled Milliken to increase our use of renewable energy to 46% of our overall energy consumption. The result: lowering our greenhouse gas emissions by 42.7% over the last 20 years. 

Through the strategic use of renewable energy, we can sustain our world for generations to come in more ways than one. How are you utilizing renewable energy to create a cleaner, healthier, and more sustainable Earth?

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