Landfills often are characterized as places of excess matter and energy. Their potential and capacity to provide a cleaner and more localized energy source while simultaneously offsetting the effects of global warming through the capturing and redistribution of methane gases is being actualized by the Jackson County Green Energy Park in Dillsboro, N.C. Green Energy Park consists of blacksmithing and glass blowing studios powered by methane gases from a neighboring landfill. “Every year, the glassblowing and blacksmithing studios capture about 281 tons of methane and offset 550 tons of carbon dioxide -- the equivalent of taking nearly 1,000 vehicles off the road. Along with the environmental benefits, the studios have launched the careers of several artists… and added a new draw to the tiny town of Dillsboro, population 248.” This article is a reminder of the limitless opportunities resources, and capacities that we have within our own communities to vastly improve the quality of our environment, economy and livelihoods.

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