Public Lab Research note

Efficiency of Landfill Gas Collection

by beyondlandfilling | October 06, 2014 16:04 06 Oct 16:04 | #11238 | #11238

Your methane mapping of landfill ideas are excellent, especially because the industry and EPA's waste office, which is dominated by the large waste companies, claim without any factual basis very high capture rates for the gas collection systems used in landfills in the range of 78% to 95%.

To the opposite effect, the IPCC, like many NGOs, has found that actual lifetime efficiencies "are as low as 20%."

This is because vacuum based gas collection only work after the site is sealed with a composite final cover to prevent oxygen infiltration. But, when the site is sealed, and until the cover deteriorates over time, no more precipitation can infiltrate either, the site dehydrates, ,and decomposition, along with gas generation, stops. It is when the site is open receiving wastes before it it sealed, and decades later after the site is abandoned and the cover falls apart, that rainfall enters the waste mass and generates gas. And at both of those times, gas collection is either absent or dysfunctional. You can read more at our website,

But, because of the substantial political clout of the industry, it's misrepresentation continue to dominate public perceptions, and thereby slow down the conversion to a sustainable approach to our discards, which now involves phasing out the burial of organic material in the anaerobic environment of landfills that creates methane.

To that end, per your thought, we very much need to chronicle the large releases of methane from landfills. But, this does not require balloons. I would prefer to talk with you by phone on less costly and complicated strategies. Let's chat.

                                                        Peter Anderson
                                                        Center for a Competitive Waste Industry
                                                        608-231-1100 or cell 608-444-2817

What I want to do

My attempt and results

Questions and next steps

Why I'm interested


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