New Plan to Convert Waste From U.S. Capitol into Electricity

Architect says there is enough government waste to power a lot of light bulbs.

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    Plan to do something useful with all the trash generated here.

    Between Senators, Congressmen, and the rest of the public servants that work in the Capitol building, 5,300 tons of solid waste gets generated every year.

    While many say they want to cut down on government waste, the Architect of the Capitol wants to convert those throw-aways to good use.

    The Architect's office announced a plan with a contractor on Thursday to convert all the solid waste that doesn't get recycled into electricity, in a new "waste-to-energy" program. 

    "Under this new contract, instead of being placed in landfills, the waste will be burned," Architect of the Capitol Stephen T. Ayers said in a statement,  "generating enough electricity to power an office building the size of the Dirksen or Longworth Building for several months.”

    When the solid waste gets burned, it heats up water to produce steam, which in turn gets converted into electricity.  According to the Architect, the project will make use of solid waste that would otherwise wind up in landfills.

    Ayers' office said the program would complement the current recycling program.