Unique Infrastructure

Fiber optics, gas recovery provide opportunities

Unique and advanced infrastructure are leveling the playing field for businesses in the Brainerd Lakes Area. A fiber optic ring here, for example, opens up opportunities for large-scale data transmittal, and a landfill gas recovery project is innovative energy use.

Fiber optic ring fits into the future

In partnership with the Independent School District 181, Consolidated Telecommunications Company (a regional telecom co-op) has installed a fiber optic ring in the Brainerd Lakes Area. The ring allows almost any amount of data to be transmitted, with simple end-point electronics upgrades, guaranteeing that area businesses can have necessary bandwidth without slow and costly digging. The ring serves most of the Brainerd-Baxter area and features spurs running up to Nisswa and the Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport, with additional expansions planned in the near future.

Using trash to heat Crow Wing County

Crow Wing County Landfill is collecting the natural gas that’s emitted from degrading trash and is using it to fuel a boiler system. This recirculated energy completely offsets the landfill’s natural gas use. Crow Wing County is making this renewable energy source available to companies that want to locate to the landfill for energy and industrial activities.

Additionally, the county has been operating the last 15 years with a waste management system for the 564-acre waste management complex that has resulted in millions of dollars in savings, delayed disposal area construction, and significant emission reductions.

By The Numbers

Crow Wing County is the first in the nation to promote the Recirculation to Energy concept and the smallest active landfill in Minnesota to voluntarily collect and use captured landfill gas, thereby reducing their environmental impact and earning them carbon credits.

The gas-fueled boiler at the Crow Wing County Landfill is being nominated for the 2010 Landfill Methane Outreach Program Award.