The St. Landry Parish (La.) Solid Waste Disposal District aims to be at the forefront of environmentally responsible, progressive landfill operations. In 2008, the district invested in a landfill gas (LFG) collection and flaring system that captures methane produced by decomposing waste. The district then began looking for potential beneficial uses for the LFG.

After evaluating the options, a biogas-to-vehicle fuel project was deemed the economical option. The district bid the procurement and installation of a biogas-to-vehicle fuel project and chose Madison, Wisc.-based BioCNG, LLC to provide an LFG cleanup, compression, storage and fueling facility. The compressed landfill gas system captures the landfill methane and converts it to a cost-effective vehicle fuel.

Middletown, N.Y.-based Cornerstone Environmental Group assisted the district's existing environmental and civil design consultants in permitting the BioCNG system. The team overcame permitting hurdles, working with the local fire marshal, which had never permitted a similar facility. Site work for the system began in December 2011, and the first vehicle was fueled in March 2012. When operating at capacity, 250 gallons of gasoline equivalent are produced per day from 50 cubic feet per minute of LFG.The alternative fuel is dispensed into St. Landry Parish vehicles, including Sheriff Department cars, light duty trucks and a light duty van, and the Solid Waste Disposal District's utility trucks. Through a partnership, the district converted the Sheriff Department vehicles and provides them with fuel at a cost that is roughly half the current price of gasoline or diesel.

The district directly funded the project along with a grant through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and the EmPower Louisiana Transportation Efficiency & Alternative Fuels Grant Program administered by the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources. The project shows St. Landry Parish Solid Waste Disposal District is working for the community and the environment.