Primary Sources of Funding
The Will County Land Use Department's Resource Recovery and Energy Division is funded primarily from fees generated by Will County's Prairie View Landfill. The landfill opened in January of 2004. The landfill has consistently provided over two million dollars of revenue annually the last several years through a host agreement and contractual fees between the County and Waste Management,the landfill's contracted operator. The revenue is distributed to the County, the division, and to other local government bodies.
A grant from the state of Illinois funds inspections and occasional additional grants, such as the EECBG (Energy Efficiency Conservation Block Grant that funds the school education program through the first half of 2012) round out the budget. No direct property tax funds contribute to this division's budget.
The Gas-to-Energy facility, which broke ground in September 2010, opened in December 2011. The LFGE plant is equipped with three 20-cylinder, 2,233 horsepower Caterpillar engines. As the landfill grows and produces more methane, engines will be added, and the plant will increase its power output. When fully equipped, the plant is projected to power 7,800 homes annually.
Will County owns the rights to the landfill gas and sells it to Waste Management to use at the plant. The company also shares the profits from the sale of the electricity with the county. The revenue stream for Will County is expected to be $441,000 for the first year and should grow to average $1 million per year when more engines are added. The county will use the revenue to fund other green infrastructure projects. “Not only will this plant help protect our environment by creating a green energy source, it also creates a new revenue source that can now pay for important green infrastructure projects in the future without placing an additional burden to county taxpayers,” says Will County Executive Larry Walsh.As the landfill grows and produces more methane, more The EECBG encourages projects that result in sustained funding for energy conservation education and improvements.