Landfill gas capture and use

Capturing landfill gas to prevent methane from entering the atmosphere and contributing to smog and climate change
Landfill methane gas capture
Ongoing
started:
2012

While reducing and diverting waste addresses many landfill challenges, these practices do not prevent landfills from generating methane, a greenhouse gas 21 times more powerful than carbon dioxide (over a 100-year time horizon) and a precursor to ozone pollution.

Today, waste is the third largest source of man-made methane emissions. If captured, this methane can be used a valuable economic and clean energy resource, and reduce the sector’s significant impact on climate change.

Challenges

Safely and effectively capturing landfill gas requires money and technical know-how, which means many communities do not have the technical or financial resources to begin landfill gas capture projects. For communities that do begin projects, many lack adequate funding for ongoing maintenance or operations, leaving landfill gas capture operations defunct or in disrepair.

Countries and cities can adopt policy measures that encourage landfill operators to capture methane by favouring landfill gas as a fuel source, offering incentives for landfill gas utilization projects, and providing tax advantages for technologies that use biogas from landfills or anaerobic digestion. 

What we're doing

The Waste Initiative supports the adoption of policies and measures that capture and use of methane from landfills. 

Every landfill is unique; no one-size-fits-all gas capture solutions exist. The Waste Initiative provides multiple types of support to advance landfill gas capture and use:

  • Connecting cities with qualified technical assistance partners to help them evaluate and design landfill gas capture projects
  • Sharing a variety of tools and guidance documents on its online Knowledge Platform
  • Hosting events and webinars that facilitate peer-to-peer learning among communities interested in landfill gas capture and use
  • Supporting city efforts to secure financing

Benefits of taking action on municipal solid waste

Resources & tools

2016 | Guidelines & Tools
, Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC)

Landfill gas management can help mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to the overall safe operation of a landfill, sometimes simultaneously generating revenue. However, financing these...

Activity contact

Sandra Mazo-Nix ,
Municipal Solid Waste Initiative Coordinator
Sandra.Mazo-Nix [at] un.org

Initiatives

Pollutants (SLCP)

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