Waste sector unveils landfill gas industry code of practice

Written by: Recycling Waste World | Published:

The waste management industry and its trade association, the Environmental Services Association ESA, have launched a new code of practice to help increase landfill gas capture and maximise renewable electricity production at landfill sites.

The waste management industry and its trade association, the Environmental Services Association ESA, have launched a new code of practice to help increase landfill gas capture and maximise renewable electricity production at landfill sites.

The Industry Code of Practice (ICOP) for the management of landfill gas aims to provide best practice advice and standards for operators and regulators involved in the collection and use of landfill gas.

Between 2006 and 2010 the waste management industry increased the production of green electricity from landfill gas by over 14%. In 2010 landfill gas comprised around 20% of all the green electricity produced in that year.

This increase in electricity production, despite the decline in landfilling waste, is said to be largely due to improved techniques for the capture and efficient use of landfill gas.

The sector is reported to have been working with regulators to help define appropriate regulation for the sector and methods to best maximise the capture of landfill gas.

ESA’s director of policy, Matthew Farrow, said: “The ICOP will enable continued effective management of landfill gas, with associated environmental benefits.

“It is a result of effective joint working, and we particularly welcomed the involvement of the UK’s environmental regulators in its development.”

The Environment Agency’s head of regulated industry, Harvey Bradshaw, added: “We expect the ICOP to play a key role in promoting best practice and improving the standard of landfill gas management within the UK, to reduce the environmental and amenity impact of landfill.”

Alex Marshall, group marketing manager at Clarke Energy, a specialist in landfill gas, told RWW that any legislation designed to maximise the power production potential of landfill sites is welcome news.

“Electricity from landfill gas is one of the most established forms of renewable energy in the UK. As biodegradable waste volumes decline there will be a corresponding reduction in the amount of gas available. However, in parallel there are valuable assets in place on landfill sites in the form of gas engines and grid connections.

“It is important therefore to make the best long-term use of these assets, through optimising capture rates of landfill gas and the deployment of best in class technologies.”

Hugh Richmond, MD of ENER-G Natural Power, the renewable energy division of ENER-G group, told RWW: “Fluctuating methane levels over the lifetime of a landfill site is often overlooked.

“Local authorities and other landfill site owners and operators now have a valuable set of guidelines to help them commission landfill gas capture and utilisation services and ensure that they achieve professional delivery while avoiding pitfalls.

“This will help them turn a liability into an asset.”


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