Chevy Helps Virginia Landfill Heat Hospital with Methane Gas

Jan 9, 2012 11:30 AM ET

Chevy Helps Virginia Landfill Heat Hospital with Methane Gas

Rockingham Memorial Hospital in Harrisonburg, Va. is heating part of its facility with methane gas pumped in from a county landfill, effectively reducing carbon-based greenhouse gas emissions along the way.  Chevrolet is supporting the project by buying a portion of those emission reductions.

This initiative takes methane gas usually released into the atmosphere during trash decomposition and turns it into energy for the hospital. Chevrolet has embraced this project as part of its carbon-reduction commitment.

Since methane’s greenhouse gas impact on the atmosphere is 21 times worse than that of the same amount of carbon dioxide, Rockingham County Landfill has turned this waste gas into a beneficial energy resource. See how it’s done by watching the video above.

The hospital burns the landfill gas in its boilers as a substitute for natural gas, generating steam to heat the facility’s hot water, sterilize surgical instruments and provide space heat in the winter.  Chevrolet will be purchasing carbon credits from about half of the gas generated by the landfill in 2012, 2013 and 2014.  

Chevrolet recently announced it is committed to preventing up to 8 million metric tons of carbon dioxide from entering the air during the next five years.  The total carbon-reduction goal for all its projects is estimated to equal the 2011 emissions created from driving the 1.9 million vehicles Chevrolet expects to sell in the United States between Nov. 18, 2010 and Dec. 31, 2011.

Actual carbon reductions from Rockingham and other Chevrolet projects will take place over the next five years. They must be reviewed, validated and verified before the investments are completed. 

Learn more about Chevy’s carbon-reduction initiative and contribute yourself by planting a virtual tree on your Facebook wall. For each tree planted, Chevrolet, in partnership with the National Forest Foundation, will plant a real tree in a U.S. forest next year, up to 175,000 total trees.