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Interface Flooring Powers Plant Using Landfill Emissions

Carpetmaker Interface Flooring Systems has partnered with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the city of LaGrange to convert naturally occurring methane gas from the local landfill into a green energy source to fuel two heaters and a boiler at Interface’s nearby Kyle plant.

Carpetmaker Interface Flooring Systems has partnered with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the city of LaGrange to convert naturally occurring methane gas from the local landfill into a green energy source to fuel two heaters and a boiler at Interface’s nearby Kyle plant.

“This is a first for the carpet industry,” said John Wells, president of Interface. “By turning waste into fuel for our manufacturing process, we are eliminating harmful emissions and increasing the use of renewable energy.”

Interface estimates it will reduce natural gas consumption at the plant by 20%. In addition, says Wells, “[the project] offsets the greenhouse gas emissions for all of Interface’s North American carpet manufacturing facilities, making them all climate neutral.”

According to Chris Voell, southeast manager of EPA’s Landfill Methane Outreach Program, "by preventing emissions of methane, voluntary projects like Interface's help businesses and communities protect the environment and build a sustainable energy future," said

Landfill gas is generated when organic materials in the landfill decompose, and is approximately 50% methane and 50% carbon dioxide. When methane escapes into the atmosphere, it creates odors, contributes to local smog, and creates a safety hazard. The LaGrange landfill will be modified with a system to collect the gas and deliver it through a pipeline to Interface’s Kyle plant, located 10 miles away. There it will be burned and converted to heat, just like natural gas. The city of LaGrange is retrofitting the landfill for gas collection, and the pipeline is being added incrementally to an existing city project to upgrade natural gas pipelines. Interface is retrofitting two natural gas heaters and a boiler to run on the converted methane.

“What makes this project particularly unique is that Interface and other industrial community partners are working with the city to provide an economic energy alternative that is also environmentally sound,” said Tom Hall, LaGrange city manager.

Interface Flooring Systems is the flagship company of Atlanta-based Interface, Inc., a manufacturer of floorcoverings and other textiles. The company is a charter partner in EPA’s Climate Leaders program, a voluntary partnership challenging businesses to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions It is also one of 20 founding partners in the Green Power Partnership, an EPA program aimed at boosting the market for renewable energy alternatives that reduce the environmental and health risks of conventional electricity generation.

More information on Interface’s environmental initiatives is available online.

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