Publications2019-01-19T12:26:40-05:00

Recent Publications

Publications related to the Earth Engineering Center of Columbia University published over the past years related to our WTERT organization.

200712

Potential for Reducing Global Methane Emissions From Landfills, 2000-2030

December 9th, 2007|

By E. Matthews, and Professor Nickolas J. Themelis Sardinia 2007, Eleventh International Waste Management and Landfill Symposium Global generation of municipal solid waste (MSW) is now ~1200 Tg/yr (1 Tg = 1012 g), >70% of which is landfilled. Landfilling of waste contributes ~30-35 Tg methane (CH4 )annually to the world's total CH4 emission of ~550 Tg/yr. Recycling and thermal treatment of waste in wasteto-energy (WtE) facilities contribute equally to diverting MSW from the waste stream destined for landfills and to mitigating CH4 emission. Waste generation is estimated to more than double by 2030 indicating that CH4 emission from waste will rise substantially in the absence of strong policies to reduce landfilling rates. To investigate the potential for future mitigation of methane emission from landfills, we developed reference projections of waste generation, recycling and landfill-gas capture, together with four WtE scenarios ranging from very conservative to very aggressive. Based on these scenarios, global 2030 CH4 emission, including reductions from recycling, range from 86 Tg (most conservative) to 27 Tg (most aggressive). WtE appears to provide the best option for limiting future waste-related emission.

Download Publication (pdf)

200609

Municipal Solid Waste Management in Italy

September 9th, 2006|

Italy is a European country with population of 58.5 million. It is divided into 20 regions that can be aggregated in three macro-geographical areas (North, Center and South). The generation of municipal solid wastes (MSW) in Italy in 2004 was 31.1 million metric tones. The source - separated collection of recyclables and compostables was 22.7% of the total MSW production. However, the situation is very different between the macro-geographical areas of Italy: the North has reached a value of 35.5%, the Center 18.3% and the South 8.1%.

Download Publication (pdf)

200608

Methane Generation in Landfills

August 2nd, 2006|

Methane gas is a by-product of landfilling municipal solid wastes (MSW). Most of the global MSW is dumped in non-regulated landfills and the generated methane is emitted to the atmosphere. Some of the modern regulated landfills attempt to capture and utilize landfill biogas, a renewable energy source, to generate electricity or heat. As of 2001, there were about one thousand landfills collecting landfill biogas worldwide.

Download Publication (pdf)

Load More Posts