Proving that one man’s trash really is another man’s treasure, an Illinois high school will soon flip the switch on a 360kW microbturbine plant to be powered by gas from a local landfill. Antioch High School, Antioch, Ill., will be one of the first school’s in the country to employ such an arrangement, in which the on-site power plant, which is scheduled to begin operation in April, will use landfill gas collected and flared from a nearby landfill to power and heat the school.

The system was designed and installed by RMT, Inc., a Madison, Wis.-based environmental engineering and construction management firm. The $1.8 million project will use 12 microturbines to heat and power the 262,000 sq ft school, and any extra electricity will be sold to Commonwealth Edison. The system will produce enough power for roughly 300 homes.