American Carbon Registry Approves Methodology for Landfill Gas Destruction and Beneficial Use
SACRAMENTO, CA, March 28, 2017 – The American Carbon Registry (ACR), a nonprofit enterprise of Winrock International, has approved a methodology for generating carbon offset credits from Landfill Gas Destruction and Beneficial Use projects. The methodology was developed by ACR with technical support from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Landfill Methane Outreach Program.
The decomposition of waste in landfills produces landfill gas (LFG), which is comprised of about half methane and half carbon dioxide. Methane is a greenhouse gas (GHG) that is 25 to 86 times more potent than carbon dioxide and is also considered a short-lived climate pollutant. Therefore, mitigating methane emissions is important for limiting near term climate impacts.
GHG emissions from over 2,400 U.S. landfills are the third largest source of methane emissions in the country, accounting for annual emissions equivalent to over 31 million passenger vehicles. The collection and combustion of methane that would otherwise have been vented into the atmosphere is an effective method for decreasing GHG emissions from landfills.
Additionally, significant opportunities exist for LFG to be captured and used as an energy resource to generate heat and electricity. It can also be processed and sent into natural gas pipelines or as clean fuel for vehicle fleets.
LFG collection and control systems and systems for beneficial energy use, however, are expensive to install and operate. The new ACR methodology is intended to provide access to carbon market finance to incentivize LFG capture and destruction at unregulated landfills and to stimulate investment in LFG beneficial use energy projects.
"ACR’s approval of this methodology is an important step to reward landfills that are going beyond business as usual to stimulate meaningful emissions reductions and to promote the use of LFG as a clean energy resource,” said Mary Grady, American Carbon Registry deputy director.
ACR’s LFG Destruction and Beneficial Use methodology will be highlighted at this week’s annual meeting of the Solid Waste Association of North America, SWANApalooza in Nevada.