A Member of the 325th Civil Engineer Squadron begins the clean up process around their squadron on Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, Oct. 18, 2018, following Hurricane Michael. Credit: U.S. Air Force/ Senior Airman Keifer Bowes This story was published in partnership with The War Horse , a nonprofit newsroom exploring the human impact of military service. Sign up for the TWH newsletter here . For years, Marines at Air Station Miramar , a busy Marine Corps installation in Southern California, knew they were sitting on something precious: an enormous pile of trash. For more than six decades, the Navy had leased land to the city of San Diego for the Miramar Landfill , which collects nearly a million tons of garbage a year. As organic material in a trash heap breaks down, it produces methane. Methane is a greenhouse gas, and landfills emit substantial amounts of it across the country—the equivalent of tens of millions of cars on the road for a year. But if the Marines could collect and treat that methane, it could be used as a renewable energy source. “We knew back then that that was a resource that could be used to power the […]


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