How the Marine Corps Struck Gold in a Trash Heap As Part of the Pentagon’s Fight Against Climate Change

spilled garbage on the beach near the big city empty used dirty plastic bottles and other garbage t20 om8Eb4 How the Marine Corps Struck Gold in a Trash Heap As Part of the Pentagon’s Fight Against Climate Change
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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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