Landfill gas guidance set to boost energy production
A new code of practice to help increase gas capture and maximise renewable electricity generation at landfill sites has been issued.
The code, published by the Environmental Services Association (ESA), aims to provide best practice advice and standards for operators and regulators involved in the collection and use of landfill gas.
According to the ESA, the guidelines will offer improved techniques to help site operators capitalise on the increasing trend for landfill gas capture which is becoming a significant part of the UK's renewable energy mix.
The detailed document covers areas such as health and safety considerations, the regulatory framework, landfill gas modelling, design and operation, gas collection infrastructure, data collection and analysis, and gas treatment.
The code points out that as each landfill site is unique, no design detail or process mentioned will apply to all sites, but that "adopting these (or similar) approaches of equal or better standard should be sufficient to establish good gas management practice".
In recent years, the waste industry has been working with regulators to help define appropriate regulation for this sector. According the ESA's director of policy, Matthew Farrow, the code helps meets the industry's commitments to the Waste and Resource Sector Responsibility Deal in terms of maximising landfill gas recovery.
Responding to the guidance, the Environment Agency's head of regulated industry, Harvey Bradshaw, said: "Control and capture of methane emissions from landfill is one of our top environmental priorities.
"We expect the code 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."
Between 2006 and 2010 the waste industry increased the production of electricity from landfill gas by over 14%. In 2010 landfill gas comprised around 20% of all renewable electricity produced that year.