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Use Landfills with Methane-capture Technology (Cancelled)

Recent Project Updates

Key Objective

Associated Collections


The 2015 iCAP chapter 6, objective 3 is "Utilize landfills with methane capture."

In 2009, campus switched from sending landfill waste to a site in Clinton, Illinois (which did not recover methane emissions) to a site in Danville, Illinois (which does recover methane emissions for electricity generation). According to the Campus Carbon Calculator (CCC), this change yielded a substantial benefit in greenhouse gas emissions from the landfilled waste — going from 2,314 metric tons of GHG emissions in FY08 to a negative (saving of) 172 tons of GHG emissions in FY09.

Since 2009, the University of Illinois has had 3-4 other waste hauling contracts. Currently, the university contracts with Area Disposal Services (Green For Life) to haul waste to Clinton, IL. Clinton Landfill currently has a 3rd party electrical generation plant at the facility that produces 3000 kw of power from landfill gas. However, nowhere in the university contract does the bid language include methane capture or any other requirement related to the landfill itself.


According to the U.S. EPA, a landfill gas recovery energy project captures “roughly 60 to 90% of the methane emitted from the landfill, depending on system design and effectiveness.” Also, carbon dioxide is emitted from electricity generation using landfill gas as well as trucking waste to landfills. In 2015, Karin Hodgin Jones investigated the landfill emissions, using publically available data from the EPA.  Her report is attached here under related files.  With her data, the waste emissions for campus should be recalculated to show 2,314 tons of GHG in FY08 and 510 tons of GHG in FY14.

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