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Use Landfills with Methane-capture Technology (Ongoing)

Project History

  • 3/15/2017

    At the PWR SWAT Team meeting on March 15th, the team debated over the message in the new Ethics Compliance Message concerning recycling standards and rules.

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.


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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