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Project Profile

Hanover County, VA Paint Evaporator Project

  Self Developed (Absence of third party developer)

Hanover, Virginia
End User(s):
Hanover County
Hanover 301 Landfill
Landfill Size:
850,000 tons waste-in-place (2008)
Project Type:
Direct Thermal (paint evaporator)
Project Size:
Averages 46 standard cubic feet per minute (8 hours per day, 5 days per week)
Environmental Benefits:
Carbon sequestered annually by 260 acres of pine or fir forests, annual greenhouse gas emissions from 240 passenger vehicles, or carbon dioxide emissions from 2,900 barrels of oil consumed. Annual energy savings equate to heating 40 homes. Estimated emissions reductions of 0.0003 million metric tons of carbon equivalents.
Last Updated:

Photo of the paint evaporator burner.

What do you do with a relatively low flow of landfill gas (LFG) from a closed landfill? You get creative! In Hanover County, Virginia, county staff were determined to use gas from their 35-acre landfill in a beneficial way, even though there appeared to be no viable options available. They developed a unique application of LFG that addressed the issue of a large number of water-based paints brought to the landfill.

Although the county accepts paint cans at its six solid waste convenience centers, a significant amount are recovered from the incoming waste at its Route 301 Transfer Station. With the transfer station adjacent to the closed landfill, staff saw an opportunity to utilize the existing LFG flare.

Staff designed a burner system to evaporate the paint to a hardened powder that can be deposited in the landfill. The burner system uses the existing LFG flare as its base component. A grate system is mounted above the shielded base. Up to 12 one-gallon cans of water-based paints are placed on the grate. After approximately 6 hours, the paint becomes a dry hardened powder that can be deposited in the transfer station when cool.

The paint evaporator project has the following benefits:

  • Destroys volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the evaporation process
  • Prevents the paint's VOCs from entering the landfill or leachate
  • Saves considerable time when compared to the method of adding drying or bulking agents to the water-based paints

The system began operation in June 2008. When not in use, the gas is burned in the connected vent flare. The total cost for the system was under $4,000.

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