It may be the zenith of recycling: turning methane gas produced by decomposing garbage into electrical power.

That’s what the Westmorland Albert Solid Waste Corporation – the company that collects garbage and recyclables in Riverview, Moncton and Dieppe — plans to do by next year.

Burning the methane gas created in the Moncton landfill to create power would be a first for the province, corporation head Bill Slater said Monday.

Slater said he’s happiest when he can find a use for the many products that end up in the dump – everything from old shoes to used cellphones.

In this case, he wants to recycle the methane gas by converting it into electricity, which would then be used to power the facility. The remainder would be sold to NB Power, he said.

"What we could sell would be worth $500,000 per year, and what we’d be saving would be $500,000," Slater said Monday.

The methane generator would pay for itself within three years, he said.

"There’s three or four other landfills in the province that are looking at burning it [methane] off, but nobody is creating power," Slater said.

He is expecting the provincial and federal governments to chip in $1 million each to help get the project going.

Slater would like to start the project by next month, to produce electricity by this time next year.

"I  would say by this time next year we’ll be producing our own power and everything will on the way. So, I’m very positive that within the next two to three weeks – maybe a month – we should be starting," he said.