DETROIT (Jan. 13, 2012) — Landfills represent 3.6 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions emitted from large facilities across the country, new data released by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) showed.
The agency released the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program, which allows users to look at greenhouse gas data from more than 6,700 facilities across the country. Users can search by state, facility, industrial sector or the type of greenhouse gas emitted.
The data show that power plants are the largest source of direct emissions with 2,324 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent released from 1,555 facilities. In comparison, landfills released 117 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent from 1,199 facilities.
The reporting tool does not specifically break out waste-to-energy facilities, but John Skinner, executive director of the Solid Waste Association of North America, said the organization is working on separating the data.
“The [Greenhouse Gas] Reporting Program data provides a critical tool for businesses and other innovators to find cost- and fuel-saving efficiencies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and foster technologies to protect public health and the environment,” said Gina McCarthy, assistant administrator for EPA's office of Air and Radiation, in a statement.
This report appeared in Waste & Recycling News, a Detroit-based sister publication of Tire Business.