SWANA Concludes That Landfill Gas Capture And Utilization Report Presents Valid Representation Of U.S. Practices

Publish Date: 6/1/2010


On May 28 SWANA's International Board of Directors approved the following statement concerning the recent report The Importance of Landfill Gas Capture and Utilization in the U.S.

After review by the International Board of Directors and Technical Divisions, SWANA concludes that this report presents a valid representation of the state-of-the-art of landfill gas capture and recovery as practiced in the U.S.

SWANA also endorses certain conclusions of the report as being fully consistent with SWANA's mission and policies. Specifically we agree that organics diversion, composting, and/or other waste management options, which are sometimes viewed as alternatives to landfills, are more properly considered as complementary waste management tools. Furthermore, all such practices must be judged on their own merits, including cost-effectiveness, environmental impacts and operational efficiency. Finally we agree that progress in lowering greenhouse gas emissions is best achieved by a concerted, integrated approach that employs all available technologies and methods, including reuse, recycling, composting, waste-to-energy, and landfilling with capture of landfill gas.

This report was authored by Patrick Sullivan, Research Associate with Columbia University's Earth and Engineering Center (EEC) and Senior Vice President with SCS Engineers.

"The report provides an extensive review of the international peer reviewed literature on this subject and the conclusions on the efficiency of landfill gas capture and cover oxidation are well supported and convincing," said John H. Skinner, PH.D., SWANA Executive Director and CEO. "We believe that it will advance the technical and scientific understanding of the significant environmental benefits of landfill gas recovery and its important role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions," Skinner added.

This report was brought to the Board's attention by SWANA's Landfill Gas Division, which is comprised of over 600 SWANA members and is widely recognized as a premier technical and scientific authority on landfill gas recovery, utilization and management. Consequently the report was sent out to for review and comment to all 67 members of the International Board of Directors as well as to the executive committees of SWANA's seven Technical Divisions.

On May 28, the SWANA Board approved the above statements by majority vote and a letter of support was sent to Professor Nickolas J. Themelis, Director, Earth Engineering Center, Columbia University.A copy of the letter is available online at www.SWANA.org/themelisletter. SWANA congratulated the author for his comprehensive and diligent review of the literature in preparing this report and the Earth Engineering Center for their thoughtful input and review. For a copy of the report, The Importance of Landfill Gas Capture and Utilization in the U.S., go to www.SWANA.org/lfgCU.