The largest emission reduction over the past year came from the closure of our only waste-to-energy incineration facility. The Maine Energy Recovery Company (MERC) facility emitted roughly 100,000 Mg CO2e (metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents) per year. With the closure of the operation at the end of 2012, and full dismantling of the facility over the course of 2013-2014, we eliminated those combustion emissions from our carbon footprint.
MERC processed roughly 200,000 tons of MSW per year, and these tons did not simply disappear with the closure of the facility. Much of this tonnage has been redirected to other landfill facilities, each of which has a lower carbon footprint than MERC in terms of greenhouse gas (GHG) per ton. So the net impact of the decision to close the facility will be a decrease in disposal emissions.
Additional emission reductions were achieved through continued improvements to the gas collection systems at our landfills, as well as through fuel and energy efficiency measures in our fleet and facilities.
Since joining the voluntary EPA Climate Leaders program eight years ago, we have drastically reduced our overall carbon footprint. We now intend to continue our climate leadership within the industry by turning our attention to smaller emission reduction projects. Our goal will be to reduce the carbon intensity of our operations.
In January 2012, we were recognized by the EPA, the Association of Climate Change Officers (ACCO), the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES), and The Climate Registry (TCR) with a Climate Leadership Award for Excellence in GHG Management.
In 2013, we produced more than 5X as much energy as we consumed. This graphic depicts annual electricity consumption at our facilities and annual electricity production (in Megawatt Hours - MWh) at the power plants we own and/or operate.