What are Greenhouse Gases:
Breakdown of greenhouse gas constituents.
Greenhouse gasses are gasses that have been defined by the EPA as having potential for trapping heat in the atmosphere. These gasses include Carbon Dioxide, Methane Nitrous Oxide and Fluorinated Gases. See the
EPA’s website for more information on greenhouse gasses.
How are Greenhouse Gases & Landfills Related:
Greenhouse gas emission sources (contributions by percentage).
Landfills produce landfill gas through the decomposition of garbage contained in the landfill. Landfill gas is comprised of nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide, methane and other trace elements. Carbon dioxide and methane are considered greenhouse gasses. Carbon dioxide is the greenhouse gas most talked about because it is the most abundant of the greenhouse gasses. But methane has a warming potential is much greater than carbon dioxide. For every ton of methane captured and burned, it is equivalent to keeping 21 tons of carbon dioxide from escaping into the atmosphere. Landfills are the second largest producer of methane in the country. This is the primary reason why landfill gas is collected as efficiently as possible.
Laws Regarding Greenhouse Gasses
As of 2010, The EPA is requiring certain greenhouse gas producers to measure, record and report the quantity of greenhouse gas emissions they produce. For landfills, the greenhouse gases quantities are determined according to the quantity of garbage landfilled, the type of cover that is over the garbage and the weather. In addition, the quantity of greenhouse gases captured by gas to energy systems or flares must also be reported. The difference between these two numbers gives the EPA an idea as to the quantity of gas that is being released into the atmosphere.