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Question of the Week
Landfills are a large source of carbon dioxide and methane emissions. According to the EPA, what percentage of US methane emissions originate from landfills?
17% of US methane emissions originate from landfills, based on a study conducted by the EPA in 2011.
Overall, methane accounted for 9% of US greenhouse gas emissions, with carbon dioxide making up the bulk of the gases emitted. Pound for pound, the impact methane has upon the atmosphere, and subsequently on climate change, is 21 times greater than CO2.
Methane is a by-product of landfills, as the gas is emitted when organic waste undergoes decomposition. At Coffin Butte, Corvallis’ own landfill, this methane is then captured and turned into usable energy as a part of the Coffin Butte Resource Project. The facility provides enough energy to power 4,000 average sized homes, capturing energy 95% of the time. Comparatively, wind energy produces energy 30-35% of the time.
For further information regarding the Coffin Butte Resource Project, visit here.
You can also visit the EPA’s website for additional data and readings about methane and other greenhouse gases.