From an story on WEAU-TV, La Crosse:

The La Crosse County Board has approved moving forward with a solid waste project that could bring about $3.5 million to La Crosse County.

The county has been working with Gundersen Lutheran on a gas to energy project. Right now the methane gas that’s taken from the decomposing garbage in the landfill is wasted as it’s burned off.

The new project would send that gas through a pipeline directly to Gundersen’s Onalaska Clinic where it can be used to create electricity and heat.

From a news release issued by Gunderson Lutheran:

Gundersen Lutheran and La Crosse County are moving forward on a unique green project that will turn garbage into renewable energy. The project will use waste gas that is created from garbage at the La Crosse County Landfill to create electricity and heat. The La Crosse County Board unanimously approved moving forward on the combined heat and power project, which is expected to offset about 12 percent of Gundersen Lutheran’s total energy use.

“This is a great use of a currently unused natural resource and it is an excellent example of what a public-private partnership can achieve in our community. We considered many partners for this project, and Gundersen Lutheran was a logical fit with their experience in renewable energy projects,” says Hank Koch, solid waste director, La Crosse County.

“We are very pleased to be entering into this partnership with La Crosse County,” adds Jeff Rich, executive director of Business Services, Gundersen Lutheran. “This project will help Gundersen Lutheran reduce the cost of healthcare, but beyond that, it’s good for the environment and it will be beneficial for the taxpayers of La Crosse County.”