). The article surveyed the problems and promise of the city's many closed landfills. As the 1996 article mentioned, the city had a landfill-gas project in the past. A contract with Maryland Recycling and Rehandling Corp. was let in 1981, Wick explains, and the company paid the city for gas from the old Pennington Avenue landfill, which it resold to the Valley Proteins rendering plant next door. The plant burned the gas to heat up the vats it uses to cook the waste fats, oils, and animal tissues it uses to make raw materials for wide spectrum of useful products. By 1993, Wick continues, "the price of natural gas plummeted, so it was more economical for Valley Proteins to go back to using natural gas," and the arrangement came to an end. This time around, Wick estimates that the methane diverted to the Coast Guard yard will generate a half a million British thermal units (BTUs) each year. To put this in perspective, the average home in the Northeastern United States uses about 60 BTUs annually, so he's talking about the equivalent of serving the energy needs of about 8,300 homes. "Things have progressed technologically," Wick observes, adding that "this project is much, much bigger."