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See how decaying trash generates low-cost electricity at Recycles Day Oct. 14

Many people may think trash is worthless, but not Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative. To NOVEC, decaying trash generates low-cost electricity for local homes and businesses. To see how it’s done, the Prince William County Landfill invites the public and media to Recycles Day on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at 14811 Dumfries Road, Manassas, VA 20112. Admission is free.

For over a decade, Prince William County Solid Waste Division has hosted Recycles Day in conjunction with America Recycles Day. The county’s annual event has grown to attract more than 1,000 residents, who enjoy free food, entertainment, games, and more, while learning about recycling.

The Recycling Pirates of the Good Life Theater—a puppet show created entirely from recycled trash materials—will teach children about recycling through song and storytelling.

“This year’s theme, ‘Recycling Matters,’ aims to reinforce the importance of waste reduction, recycling, and buying recycled products,” explains Deborah Campbell, communications specialist for the county’s Solid Waste Division. “Recycles Day is a fun way to educate residents about the many products and materials they can recycle.”

Prince William County achieved a recycle rate of 37 percent in 2016 with more than 82,000 tons of material diverted from the landfill. Scott MacDonald, the county’s recycling manager, says, “There is still work to do because 62 percent of the county’s waste goes into the landfill.”

From Trash, to Gas, to Electricity

During a landfill tour, visitors will learn how approximately 100 underground extraction wells across the landfill capture gas—about 50 percent methane—from decomposing trash and organic waste. The gas flows through underground pipes to six engines, which use the gas to generate renewable energy for thousands of NOVEC customers, an animal shelter, school bus garage, and fleet-maintenance shop.

“The landfill’s methane-gas electricity program is just one of many things that amaze and interest Prince William Recycles Day attendees when they take the landfill tour,” Campbell says.

For more information about Prince William Recycles Day, visit


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