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Landfill Methane Outreach Program

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Project Profile

Pen Argyl Green Knights

LMOP Award Winner  Self Developed (Absence of third party developer)
Plainfield Township, Pennsylvania
End User(s):
Local utility
Grand Central Landfill
Landfill Size:
10.37 million tons waste-in-place (2006)
Project Type:
Gas Turbine (three)
Project Size:
9.9 megawatts (MW)
Environmental Benefits:
Carbon sequestered annually by 9,700 acres of pine or fir forests, annual greenhouse gas emissions from 8,700 passenger vehicles, or carbon dioxide emissions from 105,800 barrels of oil consumed. Annual energy savings equate to powering 5,800 homes. Estimated emissions reductions of 0.0124 million metric tons of carbon equivalents.
LMOP Partners Involved:
Waste Management, Inc.
Last Updated:

The towns of Wind Gap, Pen Argyl, and Plainfield Township in Northampton County, Pennsylvania, are known as the "Slate Belt," referring to the slate quarrying industry that once thrived there. In recent years, local industries that once provided jobs and economic stability to residents have declined. A number of local initiatives are underway to help boost economic development, including a landfill gas (LFG) energy project.

Waste Management, Inc. (WMI) owns and operates a local landfill where LFG had been flared for years. WMI, however, was looking for ways to put the gas to more productive use. While they could have captured the gas and sold it for profit, WMI chose to involve the local community. A volunteer task force, comprising residents served by three municipalities and WMI, conceived the innovative idea to create an independent, nonprofit corporation—the Green Knight Economic Development Corporation (GKEDC).

GKEDC was created to promote economic development across three municipalities and determine how to invest the revenue from selling the gas.

The project's highlights include:

  • LMOP Industry Partner of Year (WMI 1999) and Project of Year (2000).
  • GKEDC owns a 9.9 megawatt (MW) power plant on site, which WMI designed and operates.
  • As a 501c(3) non-profit organization, GKEDC is eligible for project development grants and subsidies.
  • GKEDC received a $9.2 million loan from a local bank to construct the LFG energy facility, with WMI guaranteeing the loan.
  • GKEDC sells the power to a local utility and uses the proceeds to fund local economic development and civic/educational projects.

Consistent with GKEDC's promotion of economic development, the plant was designed and constructed to be readily retrofitted with heat recovery equipment. Thus, it has the potential to produce thermal energy that can be sold to any industry that chooses to locate nearby.

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