Inside Look at Houston-area Renewable Natural Gas Operations

Republic Services provides an up-close look at renewable natural gas and the company’s $1.1 billion JV with Archaea Energy to develop 39 RNG projects across the U.S.

Trucks move along the dirt roads at Republic Services’ McCarty Road Landfill in Houston where methane is captured and turned into renewable natural gas. (Source: Velda Addison/Hart Energy)

[Editor's note: A version of this story appears in the July 2022 issue of Oil and Gas Investor magazine.]

HOUSTON—With the sprawling downtown Houston skyline as a backdrop and hundreds of birds hovering overhead, the humming of trucks and a drilling rig on site signal progress at the 300-ft hill.

One could hardly notice the faint smell of garbage lingering in the air as Republic Services turns trash picked up from the curbs of neighborhoods, restaurants and other facilities across the fourth most populous city in the U.S. into renewable natural gas (RNG) at the McCarty Road Landfill.

Here, the South Texas heat and humidity are welcomed.

“That helps the trash break down,” Modesto Dominguez, the landfill’s general manager, said noting how lots of pressure is also needed to help the trash decompose and produce a mix of gases that mostly include methane.

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Velda Addison

Velda Addison is the senior editor of digital media for Hart Energy’s editorial team. She covers energy with a focus on renewables.