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Waste Not, What Now

Mon, Oct 4, 2010

NCBR, Stories

Methane flares at a landfill (Photo: Fairfax County, Virginia)

Larimer County in northern Colorado has experienced a major decline in the amount of junk showing up at the landfill in the last few years. Part of the credit goes to local cities and citizens, for reducing their waste and redirecting more stuff to recycling bins. But, as I wrote in a recent column for the Northern Colorado Business Report, “Landfill enterprises look for big haul,” there are several other factors at play, and a project to capture methane gas from the landfill is moving along slowly.

Methane capture technology is used around the country, but especially on the East Coast where much of the research on its impacts has occurred. Projects remove the gas for energy (or flaring), which reduces the amount emitted in the environment where methane is a very harmful greenhouse gas. But in Colorado and other Western states, where moisture is much lower than the East, projects face more challenges in retrieving methane, complicating progress.

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