Keeping in mind that there is a great deal of uncertainty regarding GHG emissions from landfills including the difficulty of simulating landfills in the laboratory, as it happens the placement of some products in anaerobic landfills actually serves as a significant carbon sink. Newspaper is one of those products. Its long-term carbon storage actually serves to counterbalance methane emissions and represents a net sink! Methane emissions from office paper, on the other hand, apparently far exceed carbon storage making it a net source of GHG.
The following were referenced:
Barlaz, M. A. Global Biogeochemical Cycles 1998, 12(2), 373-380.
Micales, J. A.; Skog, K. E. International Biodeterioration and Biodegradation 1997, 39(2-3), 145-158.
Eleazer, W. E.; Odle, W. S.; Wang, Y.; Barlaz, M. A. Environmental Science and Technology 1997, 31(3), 911-917.
Camobreco, V.; Ham, R.; Barlaz, M.; Repa, E.; Felker, M.; Rousseau, C.; Rathle, J. Waste Management & Research 1999, 17(6), 394-408.
Weitz, K.; Barlaz, M.; Ranjithan, R.; Brill, D.; Thorneloe, S.; Ham, R. International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment 1999, 4(4), 195-201.
Freed, J. R.; Choate, A.; Lee, E. In Combustion Canada: Calgary, Canada, 1999, p 11.
No doubt the whole extraction through manufacturing process has the negative externality of anthropogenically produced GHGs emissions associated with it.
Doug Koplow wrote:
It may be true that organic fractions are the largest source of fugitive methane emissions from landfills. However, if you look at the greenhouse gas impacts of the full commodity production cycle -- not just emissions from disposal -- discarding metals and plastics rather than recycling them is also a big deal. _______________________________ Doug Koplow Earth Track, Inc. 2067 Massachusetts Avenue - 4th Floor Cambridge, MA 02140 www.earthtrack.net Tel: 617/661-4700 Fax: 617/354-0463 CONFIDENTIAL This message, and all attachments thereto, is for the designated recipient only and may contain privileged, proprietary, or otherwise private information. If you have received it in error, please notify the sender immediately and delete the original. Any other use of the email by you is prohibited.Stephan Pollard <firstname.lastname@example.org> 02/11/05 08:24PM >>>Indeed it is laudable. For those concerned about methane emissions from landfills its paper (and foodscrap and fugitive yardwaste) in oxygen starved environments that produce it, not aluminum, steel, or plastic. Stephan Steve Apotheker wrote:The paper recycling rate calculated by the American Forest & Paper Association is slightly different than the recycling rates calculated by EPA or by the states and local governments. AF&PA's rate includes pre-consumer paper, while EPA does not. For example, in 2001 the paper recycling rate was 48.3% according to the AF&PA, while the EPA published 44.9%. Also, EPA and AF&PA both depend largely on surveys of manufacturers with some estimates of imported scrap paper that arrives along with imported products. State and local governments use waste composition studies that perhaps more accurately indicate paper recycling rates at least for their jurisdiction. Thus, differences in the absolute paper recycling rates of AF&PA, EPA and various governments can partly be explained by methodological differences. However, there is no denying that the increase in AF&PA's paper recycling level over the last decade or so has been almost exclusively due to increased post-consumer paper recovery so their rate of improvement is very real (not due to methodological manipulation) and very laudable.Christine McCoy <email@example.com> 2/11/05 1:18:00 PM >>>To be clear, the Paper Recycling rate is officially 50.3% Christine
-- Stephan Pollard Environmental Dynamics Doctoral Program University of Arkansas Rm 113 Ozark Hall Fayetteville, AR 72701 Tel: (479) 575-6603 http://www.cast.uark.edu/~sp