WASHINGTON, April 18, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The waste and recycling industry is continuing to reduce its release of greenhouse gases — even as waste volumes increase, according to the latest greenhouse gas inventory released by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Despite the fact that we are landfilling 6 percent less than 20 years ago, we have greatly improved our ability to reduce methane emissions. As a result, these emissions declined by 30 percent during the same period. This has happened as a result of converting methane to energy, flaring of methane emissions and oxidation techniques.
There are 594 landfill gas-to-energy sites in the United States that generated 1,813 megawatts (MW) of energy and 312 million standard cubic feet a day (mmscfd) of gas. This is enough energy to directly power 1 million homes and heat 729,000, respectively.
Methane gas collected at landfills is used to power home, businesses and government facilities across the nation. Some of it is even used to fuel garbage trucks. Landfill-gas-to-energy projects and other forms of biomass-derived energy make up the almost half of the nation’s renewable energy supply, almost the same amount as is derived from solar, wind, geothermal and hydropower combined.
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