For Immediate Release
January 27, 2009

KDHE Office of Communications, 785-296-0461

Seward County Earns National Recognition from EPA

Seward County recently earned a national award from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  Mike Tabor, who manages the county’s landfill, accepted the Community Partner of the Year Award from the EPA Landfill Methane Outreach Program at a special ceremony in Baltimore.  EPA identified the Seward County Landfill’s gas recovery system as a model for similar systems in small landfills across the country.

Like most other landfills, the one in Seward County produces methane-rich landfill gas – in this case, about 70 cubic feet per minute.  This amount is generally considered too small to be technically and economically feasible for recovery.  However, the county realized that a recovery project could be feasible if the landfill gas was combined with methane generated by the adjacent National Beef packing plant. 

The company installed floating covers over 20 acres of wastewater lagoons to recover the methane released by their wastewater treatment process.  The recovery effort involves piping the methane-rich landfill gas to the wastewater lagoons.  The combined methane stream is collected and used to help power the plant. 

“It is very encouraging to see this cooperative community effort where a public entity, Seward County, is working with a private business, National Beef, to beneficially use this renewable energy resource rather than allow its release to the atmosphere,” stated Roderick L. Bremby, Secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE).  “Natural resources are conserved and the environment benefits.  It is also encouraging to see that EPA has recognized this Kansas project, because it will serve as a model for others nationwide.”

KDHE nominated Tabor and the landfill, and the EPA awards committee selected Seward County for the 2008 Community Partner Award. 

Rachel Goldstein, team leader of the EPA Landfill Methane Outreach Program, also praised Seward County’s accomplishment. “Seward Country Landfill represents the very best in the landfill gas industry and LMOP is pleased to recognize your outstanding accomplishments,” she stated.