Incentivizing Renewable Energy Projects from Landfills

by Shannon O’Neill

Every year, a total of 164 million tons of waste is disposed of in landfills. This has created a concern for waste management, particularly due to the fact that landfills are the third largest source of methane, a greenhouse gas that negatively effects the environment. However, methane has been developed as an energy source, in which it is recaptured and used to power homes and businesses. Today, there are more than 630 landfill gas energy projects that together, produce 16.5 billion kilowatt hours of electricity a year. This is enough energy to provide for 1.5 million homes. The picture above suggests an additional approach of adding photovoltaics, but this post is just about biogas Continue reading

Landfill Mining as Landfill Remediation in Sweden

by Hilary Haskell

Nonrenewable resource recovery and greenhouse gas emissions reductions make landfill mining both an economically and environmentally attractive landfill remediation option. Per Frändegård et al. (2013) studied the economic feasibility and environmental impact of landfill mining for Swedish municipal waste under mobile and advanced stationary separation plant scenarios. The authors used Monte Carlo sensitivity analysis to assess the effects of uncertain parameters on landfill composition and greenhouse gas mitigation potential. Of Sweden’s thousands of landfills holding more than 350 million tons of material, many are aging and require remediation. The study concludes that landfill mining could prevent emission of 50 million tons of carbon-dioxide equivalents, provide over five years of energy to Sweden’s district heating system, and supply Sweden with 7 million tons of ferrous and 2 million tons of nonferrous metal materials. Continue reading