Oklahoma’s Own, RICK WELLS, Sep 16, 2015 9:18 PM EDT
SAND SPRINGS, Oklahoma –
When most people hear the word landfill, they probably don’t think of butterflies, bees and honey, but one out in Sand Springs might have people rethinking.
Some local honey is made at the American Environmental Landfill in Sand Springs, it’s home to several bee hives according to Vice President, Todd Green.
“Actually, there are six – one, two, three, four, five, six – we’ve got about 280,000 bees,” he said.
AEL is an environmental landfill. They got about 400 acres and only half is active landfill, so they’ve planted wild flowers all over the rest and added the bees.
Green said the owner read about the plight of honey bees and decided they ought to try to do something.
They also plant milkweed along with the wild flowers, hoping to attract monarch butterflies – another endangered critter.
If you look close, there’s a grass-covered hillside which is really the old landfill with hundreds of tons of trash under it.
A byproduct of that decomposing trash is methane gas, and there are a series of wells throughout, which vacuum the methane and workers burn it to produce electricity – enough to power several thousand homes.
Electricity, wildflowers milkweed and bees, oh my, this certainly is a different kind of landfill.