Monday, October 27, 2008

A benefit from landfills in New Jersey

This topic was covered today in the local paper.

Here's a link to a Time magazine article discussing the benefits of capturing methane emissions from landfills, even long after they've reached capacity.

Trash... the gift that keeps on giving.

Notice the amount of solid waste produced per day by NJ residents.... wow, and yuck.
This is surprising to me because in New Jersey recycling is mandatory.

Here is some information provided by the state of NJ on recycling, including these pages of information on the economic and environmental benefits of recycling.

4 comments:

AshtonB said...

sounds like jersey, one of the dirtiest places in the U.S. has found a useful way to convert trash into energy, it will save them money and should free up room in landfills, both are exciting because there were days when it seemed there was no where for all this trash to go, now we have recycling and we are re-opening closed landfills to generate power to generate other commodoties such as wastewater treatment and etc. Very efficient! It's wonderful to see that people can find alternatives and new ways to convert, it gives us hope in a time when the country needs every bit of it.

Bibi Yusuf said...

I'm impressed by the fact that they utilise their landfills in such an efficient manner! Although they generate more waste than the national average, it’s coming into good use. In Barbados, the amount of solid waste disposed to the landfill is 1000 tonnes per day (according to the Solid Waste Project Unit) and considering an average population of 270,000, the per capita amount of waste disposed daily is 8.2 pounds, only 1.5 pounds more than the 6.7 quoted in the article for New Jersey. From a comparative view, I’m surprised at this since there is no mandate and very little incentive to recycle in Bdos. I believe however, that it would be beneficial if Bdos took a page from this example regarding the mandate to recycle in order to reduce waste, and the use of landfill generated methane for energy.

Andreanne said...

This is a great opportunity for the local, state and federal level to create more programs regarding this newly developed method of capturing methane. Maybe even subsidies can be given to landfills who capture the methane... Hopefully the next budget for the EPA will allow expansion for further research and creation of nationwide programs. There is now ample opportunity for energy-producing projects at more landfills in the nation. I read that if methane is not captured, it becomes a greenhouse gas at least 20 times more potent than CO2, the main greenhouse gas. The EPA estimated that landfills account for 25% of all methane releases linked to human activity. So this is a great step towards reducing global warming and reducing possible health hazards to the surrounding community.

Brandon Hamm said...

These types of small steps not only help the communities that they are implemented in, but show that such practices are feasable and benificial. Using our old trash to fuel our homes, or saving money by cheaply reusing old rubble instead of throwing it away and spending twice what it cost to recyce it to mine for new materials which have many other externalities to be considered.
I guess this article kind of lends itself to the old saying that one mans trash is another mans treasure......