April 2005

Kyoto protocol calls for end of organic landfilling worldwide

“Today is a good day for planet Earth,” according to Eric Lombardi, the board VP for the Grassroots Recycling Network, ‘because the Kyoto Protocol has now come into effect and we can all move forward with the challenge of cleansing our atmosphere of the greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide and methane. In fact, once the truth is known about landfills large contribution to global warming, Kyoto could mark the beginning of the end of landfilling as we know it today, especially the practice of burying organic material, which is over 60% of the material. As is underway in Europe, landfilling will eventually be limited to a small sliver of what is currently discarded.’

February 16th is the 90th day following Russia’s signing of the Kyoto Protocol, putting the international treaty into effect, a date that GRRN says marks a critical stage in its battle to end wasting in America. The Bush Administration has refused to ratify Kyoto even though it would require only about a 17% reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from today’s levels. (The official goal is a 5.2% reduction by 2012 from 1990 levels.)

According to Lombardi, ‘The issue of landfill gas release to the environment is a sleeping giant. More than half the time that landfill gases are generated, there is no collection system even operating. Yet, the EPA takes the unsubstantiated position that most of the methane generated in landfills is captured and is thus only responsible for around 3% of the nation’s GHGs.” But according to GRRN’s landfill consultant, Peter Anderson, a simple mathematical reworking of the EPA’s assumptions shows that landfills could account for up to 12% of human-made greenhouse gases, which would make them the second largest source of GHGs after fossil fuel combustion.

GRRN is working on many issues related to landfills and is the nation’s leading advocate for a Zero Waste society. Ongoing research is focusing on the release and impact of landfill gas, landfill leachate, and the long-term financial crisis looming for taxpayers when the time comes to clean-up thousands of leaking landfills across the country.


877-777-0737    •     Fax 419-931-0740     •     118 E. Third Street, Suite A   Perrysburg, OH 43551
© Copyright AR Publishing Co. All rights reserved. Any reproduction of content requires written permission.