Landfills to Convert Emissions into Electricity
Image via Wikimedia Commons
The EPA Recruits Landfills to Avoid Climate Change
Climate change seems to be one of the many hot topics these days, especially from the perspective of the United States Environmental Protection Agency – better known as the EPA – which works tirelessly, day in and day out, to avoid the issue from getting any worse. As the EPA encourages the government, people in power and the average citizen of this country to become increasingly aware of this serious issue, it recently has turned to America’s landfills and waste removal professionals to help keep the future of our planet safe. The EPA’s guidelines will turn our trash into a newfound source of energy, and actually contribute to getting rid of climate change altogether.
Climate Change: What It Is
It’s exactly as it sounds: Climate change is the rapid modification of our earth’s climate that we never expected to happen so fast, resulting in disruptive impacts to the climate patterns that mold our natural ecosystems. This harmful change has come from levels of rising carbon dioxide, and other gases that trap heat, that have passed through the atmosphere. These gases have warmed the earth, caused sea levels to rise, melted snow and ice, have brought on more extreme fires and droughts, and caused even more extreme storms, floods and rainfall. As predicted by environmental professionals and scientists, these negative impacts brought on by climate change are only going to continue – and in some instances, get even worse – if we don’t do something to stop it. Without the proper help, our health, forests, freshwater supplies and other natural resources are going to become truly damaged, and diminish our lives – and planet – as we know it.
Latest EPA Guidelines
In July 2016, the EPA officially released a newly revised set of guidelines, with the intention to improve climate mitigation strategies and efforts. These guidelines brought in landfills throughout the country as another party into the mix, primarily because large areas of waste disposal emit a serious amount of carbon dioxide, methane and other toxins, known as landfill gas. Unfortunately, nearly 20 percent of methane emissions – derived from humans – come from our landfills, so it was long overdue for the EPA to step in and start buckling down on the waste disposal areas.
How Landfills Are Helping
Under these new EPA guidelines, landfill owners are now responsible for deriving their own mechanisms to prevent carbon dioxide, methane and other toxic gases from being released into the air around us. The EPA is making this possible by putting a new threshold in place, which is currently set at 34 megagrams per year of non-methane organic compounds (NMOCs). Ultimately, the EPA hopes to see a reduction of about 290,000 metric tons of methane a year by 2025, which is about 7.1 million metric tons of carbon dioxide.
Landfill Gas is Converted into Energy
As the idea behind the EPA’s guideline details, landfill gas can actually be captured and converted into a legitimate energy source – a brilliant solution to the climate change issues brought on by the smog and harmful toxins that landfills emit. Using a variety of wells and a blower/flare system, the landfill gas is extracted from a landfill. The components that make up such a system include a well, wellhead, collection piping, treatment/blower/flare station and a flare. Doing so takes the gas into a collected, central point, where it is processed and treated. The gas is then flared, used to create electricity, and replaces fossil fuels in both industrial and manufacturing operations. The landfill gas also can be turned into pipeline-quality gas and used as an alternative to vehicle fuel. There are a few options for converting the landfill gas into energy, including electricity generation, direct use, cogeneration and alternative fuels.
A Small Price to Pay
Since releasing their new guidelines, landfill owners around the country are known to be a bit conflicted regarding the EPA’s policy. That’s because the technological means of preventing the harmful gases being released into the environment can prove to be a bit costly – especially when it comes to the size of the landfill. Regardless, Cali Carting Inc. – a full-service solid waste and recycling company located in Kearny, New Jersey – is proud to get behind the EPA’s guidelines, and support the move to reverse the harmful impact climate change has brought about.
Garbage Disposal Services in New Jersey
At Cali Carting, we provide roll-off containers for waste and recyclable materials to our contractor, business-owner and homeowner clientele, with same-day service available in most areas that we serve. We strive to complete our commitment to deliver the most environmentally friendly service, while working with our customers to help them achieve their sustainability goals. Please contact our office at 201-991-5400 if you think you could benefit from our services.