Sierra Club Report on Landfill-Gas-to-Energy
The Landfill Gas to Energy (LFGTE) Task Force was asked to evaluate whether LFGTE facilities decrease or increase net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. We have unanimously concluded that reliance on landfill gas to generate electricity results in increased net GHG emissions. This is clearly the case when considering the fate of new wastes that could be diverted to waste management facilities more appropriate than landfills, and is almost certainly true for wastes already buried in landfills that collect landfill gas and flare it. Our conclusions reinforce existing Sierra Club policy that supports diversion of the organic fraction of our discards from landfills so that uncontrolled methane is not generated in the first instance. They also suggest that, in existing landfills with or without LFGTE facilities, regulations should be significantly strengthened to reduce methane emissions as much as possible.