Myth: Landfill gas capture recovery systems are an effective way to address methane emissions from landfills.
Fact: Landfill gas capture systems do a poor job of recovering methane emissions.
Myth: Wet landfills or “bioreactor” designs will improve landfill gas capture rates and help reduce methane emissions from landfills.
Fact: Wet landfills are schemes to speed methane generation, but because lifetime gas capture efficiency rates may approximate 20%, actual methane emissions may be greater with the reactor design than without.
Myth: Landfills and incinerators are sources of renewable energy.
Fact: Landfills and incinerators waste valuable resources and are not generators of “renewable” energy. They inefficiently capture a small amount of energy by destroying many the Earth’s diminishing resources that could be conserved, reused, or recycled.
Myth: Subsidizing landfill gas capture recovery systems through renewable portfolio standards, alternative fuels mandates, and green power incentives is good for the climate.
Fact: Subsidies to landfills encourage waste disposal at the expense of waste reduction and materials recovery options that are far better for the climate.
Myth: Incinerators are tremendously valuable contributors in the fight against global warming. For every megawatt of electricity generated through the combustion of solid waste, a megawatt of electricity from coal-fired or oil-fired power plants is avoided, creating a net savings of emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.
Fact: Incinerators increase — not reduce — greenhouse gas emissions. Municipal solid waste incinerators produce more carbon dioxide per unit of electricity generated than either coal-fired or oil-fired power plants.
Written by Stop Trashing the Climate.