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I've not seen anybody on this list serve either (a) arguing to ban methane collection or (b) indicating that they don't think methane collection from landfills is a good idea.

Rather, people have argued that:

-Capture rates by methane collection systems (generally pegged at 75% of generation) are not based on scientific measurement, but rather have been basically pulled out of the air by a series of expert judgments.  As a result, arguments that methane capture should be subsidized by taxpayers because of its great benefit in curbing GHG emissions are likely much overstated.  

-Landfills are businesses, and should pay for their own pollution control systems.  Just as coal plants should be required to install scrubbers to mitigate harm to human health and the environment, so too should landfills pay to curb their own pollution:  methane generation and all of the associated toxic fractions that landfill gases often contain.  Currently only some landfills are required to curb air emissions; there is a strong argument to extend these requirements to a much higher percentage of the landfill universe.  Once methane collection is required to control emissions, energy recovery (versus flaring) is economic without public subsidy for most landfills in the country.

-Cheap landfilling makes it more difficult for recycling to compete.  For many commodities, recycling saves more energy (and reduces more pollution) through reduced materials production inputs than the often heralded displacement of fossil fuels by landfill gas burning.  Thus, public policy should not undermine recycling economics by subsidizing landfill gas.

In summary:  landfill gas recovery is a good thing, but one that the landfills should pay for, and the costs of which should be reflected in waste tip fees.

Hope this clarifies some of the confusion in your last post.

-Doug Koplow

Doug Koplow
Earth Track, Inc.
2067 Massachusetts Avenue - 4th Floor
Cambridge, MA  02140
Tel:  617/661-4700
Fax: 617/354-0463

>>> "Bruce Arkwright,Jr" <powerbysun@no.address> 11/28/03 04:39PM >>>

We should write to our represenatives about incentives
toward methane production and not any one method, sans
landfill. Any one making and collection methane should
get the subsidies to help reduce our need to fossil
fuels if that means taking an exsisting landfill and
collecting the methane so be it. You can not say they
are not allowed to do it. It is like saying your for
wind turbines but you do not want them in your
backyard. WE Have a Energy Poeblem Issue We Need in
this Nation We Need to Deal with IT.  Your total band
of the collection methane that is NOW being produce
and not collecting it is no help eigher and is simply
foolish. Do you know where is your energy coming from
and how much of it we have left?

Bruce Arkwright, Jr
Erie's Efficiency & Solar Society

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