Paris is innovating one way to reduce its carbon footprint – by turning garbage into electricity and heat.

An American couple that moved to France over 20 years ago, live in a three bedroom apartment on the outskirts of Paris. Most of their heat and electricity is powered by renewable sources, which was important to them.

The three waste-to-energy plants in Paris produce 200,000 megawatt hours of electricity every year. That’s enough electricity to power 40,000 apartments in France. The plants also produce the steam to supply 40 percent of Paris’s heating needs, which is currently enough to heat 200,000 apartments, all 24 of the city’s hospitals, and dozens of famous tourist sites and museums, including the Louvre. All that power generated by garbage saves 300,000 tons of fossil fuels and avoids the release of 900,000 tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every year. That’s equivalent to taking almost 200,000 cars off the road.

Read the full story.