SMALL Landfills – Capture the Methane And Make Energy, too.

How much Municipal Solid Waste is considered the size of
SMALL Landfills / Garbage Dumps?

It used to be I million – 3 million tons of Municipal Solid Waste-in-place.

- SMALL Landfills - Capture the Methane And Make Energy, too.
slide 5 of the presentation

Now-a-days there appears to be no limit to the size of a “Landfill project to produce energy” as long as the people who own it can find
1. an end user for the gas or electricity
2. Funding for the project.

The Landfills/Garbage Dumps discussed in this post range from 360,000 tons to 2.8 million tons of waste-in-place.


SMALL Landfills

- SMALL Landfills - Capture the Methane And Make Energy, too.
slide 5 of the presentation

2 million tons of MSW generates LFG that could be used to produce:
~1.56 megawatts (MW) of electricity
~864,000 cubic feet per day of LFG
or 867,400 (GGEs) per year of CNG

You can use LMOP’s Interactive Conversion Tool (a Microsoft Excel file) to derive some of these values, available at .

Per 2023 USA EPA calculations, the environmental benefits of a 1 million ton MSW in-place Landfill that can produce 0.78-megawatt of electricity are approximately equal to:
>>> Carbon sequestered by ~ 51,500 acres of forest in one year,
>>> CO2 emissions from more than 230 railcars’ of coal burned
>>> CO2 emissions from ~ 4.9 million gallons of gasoline consumed

USA EPA LMOP’s Landfill Gas Energy Benefits Calculator (an Excel tool), estimates the environmental equivalencies. For a Landfill that produces 0.78 megawatts of electricity: enter 0.78 in cell D8 or enter 0.432 in cell I7 to obtain estimates. For example, the total 2023 benefits for a

The EPA’s Landfill Methane Outreach Program (LMOP) would like to help you find out if you can develop a LFG project. The EPA apparently wants to help communities work with any size landfill even a “Landfill with a lower LFG flow rate”.

Contact the Global Methane Initiative, if you are somewhere else in the world.


2:17 min – Preview: Trials/Tribulations of a Small Landfill Gas to Energy Project
Feb 10, 2016 – Hi. I’m Denise Burgess project engineering manager with Comcor Environmental Limited, from Cambridge, Ontario, Canada.  My presentation at Swana’s 39th annual Landfill Gas and Biogas Symposium will be centered around a Small Landfill Gas to Energy Project in Kawartha Lakes, Ontario.  Landfill gas from the Lindsay/Ops landfill is collected and sent to a 335 kilowatt young Bakr Genset where enough electricity is produced to power the landfill facilities and the adjacent water pollution control plant.  There were numerous challenges associated with this project and if not for the backing of City Council and a number of dedicated city staff this would not be in operation…… Despite all these challenges the City of Kawartha Lakes can now boast that the garbage from their landfill powers their water pollution control plant.  I look forward to seeing you in at Swana.  We, both myself and David Kerr from the City of Kawartha Lakes will discuss this exciting project in more detail. This landfill has been in operation since 1979.

New Zealand

2:28 min – Landfill gas to energy
Sep 4, 2017 – The Omen, a new landfill, accepts waste material from the Napier City and Hastings District that amounts to around seventy-two thousand tons of waste per year.

SMALL Landfills

I found this USA EPA Document from 2001 written specifically for SMALL Landfills.

Small Landfills=Untapped Energy Potential

Date: Fri, Sep 8, 2023 at 4:19 PM

Yes, the basic premise of the document you referenced, Small Landfills=UNTAPPED Energy Potential, is still valid. LMOP encourages and supports the beneficial use of LFG from small landfills and believes that LFG energy projects can be implemented at many of these smaller sites if an appropriate end user can be determined, funding procured, etc. However, there is some information in the document that is out of date, given its age. The Benefits sidebar of the document is certainly still applicable.

There are 4 case studies in the document:

Pennsylvania Landfill’s Problem Evaporates – The leachate produced at the landfill required costly treatment and disposal. As a solution, the landfill operators employed a technology that uses the heat generated by burning LFG to evaporate leachate on-site.
New York Landfill Gets Cool Results – The city of Saratoga Springs, New York, took an innovative approach by combining an environmental benefit with a favorite winter pastime. The city’s Department of Public Works has been operating a cogeneration LFG use project at its Weible Avenue Landfill (2.1 million tons of waste-in-place) since 1997. Owned and operated by the city, the cogeneration system uses LFG generated by the landfill to produce electricity and heat for the city-owned skating rink, which is located
across the street from the landfill.
New Mexico Landfill Uses Innovative Microturbine Technology – Albuquerque, New Mexico, was facing a challenge not unlike those tackled by many cities—LFG was detected escaping from the city’s closed Los Angeles, NM, Landfill (2.8 million tons of waste-inplace). The city looked to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Landfill Methane Outreach Program (LMOP) for assistance in finding a solution that would not only prevent the migration of LFG, but also would use the LFG as an energy source. LMOP arranged for the city and a local company, Honeywell Power Systems, Inc., to collaborate on a, successfull, pilot test of Honeywell’s new LFG- fueled 75 kilowatt microturbine. (There are new power generation technologies today, also looking for places to test.)
Greenery and Crafts Benefit from a North Carolina Landfill – The Blue Ridge Resource Conservation and Development Council, which represents seven North Carolina counties, assembled an 80-member task force to identify end users for the LFG at the Yancy/Mitchell Landfill, which has just over 360,000 tons of waste-in-place. The task force decided to use the LFG in an innovative manner to heat and power onsite greenhouses and a craft studio. EnergyXchange, NC:

Further from U.S. EPA LMOP:
There are a few More resources we can point you to regarding LFG use at small landfills / landfills with a lower LFG flow rate:

…..And there are new technologies in electric generation like this Linear Generator, that may make it easier for Small Landfills to put their LFG to use.
Any Fuel,
Any Scale,
Anytime, Anywhere

You and your Community Council can look around and find a use for the Garbage Dump / Landfill Gas (LFG) to be produced in your Landfill Cells….some examples:

  • Place your Landfill Cell right next to an existing power plant, so that you can pipe the LFG right into their natural gas supply line.
  • Place your Landfill next to an existing waste water facility, to power their operations
  • Does your community have a recycling center? Put your Landfill Cell next to it, to power the conveyor belt operations in that facility.
  • Other municipal buildings that need electricity.
  • Place your Landfill Cell next to any other anaerobic digester operation nearby
  • Think carefully what other existing facilities in your community can use fuel and put your Landfill Cell next to it.

Steps for Developing an LFG Use Project

>> Estimate LFG Recovery Potential and Perform Initial Assessment or Feasibility Study
>> Evaluate Project Economics
>> Establish Project Structure
>> Draft Development Contract
>> Assess Financing Options
>> Negotiate Energy Sales Contract
>> Secure Permits and Approvals
>> Contract for Engineering, Procurement & Construction, Operation & Maintenance Services
>> Install Project and Start-Up Operation

Maybe you have a very old Landfill?

Toolkit for Expiring Landfill Gas Electricity Power Purchase Agreements from EPA’s LMOP

A closed/contained Landfill Cell can still be useful
The Future of Landfills is Bright

- SMALL Landfills - Capture the Methane And Make Energy, too.
  • Once your Landfill Cell has been closed, it will have a finite life of 25 or more years, depending on its size, during which LFG will be produced inside it.
  • Plan to cover it with a solar or Vertical wind farm when the area is settled.
  • And know that down the line, technology is already available that can turn Municipal Solid Waste DIRECTLY into syngas, without the use of the Landfill, and you can place this new technology on top of your closed Landfill.

Landfill CELLs are very important – to protect the surrounding environment and capture the Gas.

2:13 min – Denton Landfill – A Cell for the Future
Oct 22, 2021 – There is more to a Landfill than meets the eye. The Denton Landfill is a highly engineered and planned development to not only handle our City’s waste, but to keep our residents and environment safe. The new Landfill Cell will serve the city and surrounding area for years to come

Outlook for biogas and biomethane: Prospects for growth

The IEA, still does not see the potential of ALL the Garbage Dumps around the world. I could very well be wrong, but I believe there is more energy to be captured than others believe. BUT the IEA does point out that………………..

This report estimates that around 30 Mtoe (~40 billion cubic metres [bcm]) of biomethane – mostly landfill gas – could be produced today at a price that undercuts the domestic price of [fossil] natural gas; this is already ten times more than total biomethane consumption today.

The cost gap is projected to narrow over time as biomethane production technologies improve and as carbon pricing in some regions makes natural gas more expensive. Recognition of the value of avoided CO2 and methane emissions goes a long way towards improving the cost-competitiveness of biomethane.

Outlook for global “biomethane consumption” by region in the Sustainable Development Scenario, 2018-2040 —

BioMethane consumption graph 2018 to 2040- SMALL Landfills - Capture the Methane And Make Energy, too.

Rest of world
North America

Last updated 19 Mar 2020 –
time to update this again!

Many Islands have SMALL Landfills. They also can contribute their waste to Waste to Energy. Take a look:

Tilos Island SMALL Landfill- SMALL Landfills - Capture the Methane And Make Energy, too.

ALL Islands: Just Go Zero – NOW! – Like Tilos

logo- SMALL Landfills - Capture the Methane And Make Energy, too.

Vision RNG LLC brought together a team of seasoned professionals with decades of experience across the natural gas and waste management industries. Combining proven LFG technologies with processes widely used in the conventional natural gas sector, we provide a unique solution to capture, process, and commercialize LFG at mid-sized sites previously considered too small for viable projects. 

More work is being done to include Small Landfills in landfill regulations……

4 min – Capito Discusses Challenges, Opportunities for Landfills to Reduce Methane
Jan 31, 2024 – Today, Ranking Member Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) participated in a Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee hearing titled, “Avoiding, Detecting, and Capturing Methane Emissions from Landfills.”

What is the final objective?

To capture the Methane from People Created Waste and USE IT.
…one way is RNG as fuel. From RNG you can make electricity, too.

1:46 min – Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) 101
Jan 10, 2023 – Energy industry is going through a Renaissance and it’s changing. right.  To me there are many pieces of the Net Zero puzzle and RNG is one of them.  Renewable Natural Gas is created by taking raw biogas, whether it’s from garbage or Wastewater or farming activities. Cleaning it and processing it into a renewable form of energy that can then be injected into our existing pipeline infrastructure.  For every molecule methane emitted to the environment its impact to global warming is three times that of CO2.  So by capturing this biogas and leaving fossil fuel in the ground, we’re improving the air for all of us.  And we’re repurposing it into a usable form of energy.  It’s a win-win.  Historically RNG has been used primarily in the transportation sector, but now because of the impact of climate change we’re seeing the interest really pick up by consumers to use it anywhere they currently use natural gas.  Ameresca looks at waste as opportunity.  Every drop that we capture we leave that drop of fossil fuel in the ground.  As a matter of fact, the World Bank projects Solid Waste to increase nearly 70 percent by 2050. Society created this problem and now we need to fix it. I remember my dad always saying that he wanted to see the Next Generation do better than the last.  I take that to heart because I want to do that from an environmental standpoint.
Ameresco, Inc. (NYSE:AMRC) is a leading energy efficiency and renewable energy solutions provider serving North America and the United Kingdom. Please visit us at

posts on Cleaner Renewable Gases – Fuel or Electricity
Anaerobic Digestion In Full Swing – #1 Waste To Energy?
CNG, LNG, RNG Fuelling Stations – #2 Waste To Energy
#3 Municipal Solid Waste – MSW To BioFuel? Yes!

Landfill Gas (LFG) – Fuel or Electricity – Capture Methane
ALL Islands: Just Go Zero – NOW! – Like Tilos
Look To Garbage Dump Sites For The Energy We Need! Sure Fire!
Landfill Gas Projects Worldwide – – – Clean Up The Air, Now!
SMALL Landfills – Capture The Methane And Make Energy, Too.
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Why We Need To Capture Landfill Gas – – -Right Now!
How To Get More Electricity For Your Community – Worldwide

INVESTING in LFG – Capturing the Methane!
Cleaner Energy Investments! Time To Invest In Your Landfill!
CH4 Investments Urgent! Today! Landfill Gas (LFG)

what needs to be cleaned up
Too Much Methane !
Why We Need To Capture Landfill Gas – – -Right Now!
The Greenhouse Gases List …..A Re-Review
The “Relief” Of Phasing Out Fossil Fuel! …Now!
Finally In The Mood To Phase Out Fossil Fuel? Environment
Finally In The Mood To Phase Out Fossil Fuel? People-Civic
Finally In The Mood To Phase Out Fossil Fuel? – Governance
We CAN Deal With The #1 Mistake: Fossil Fuel – Today

cleaning up the mess
Fossil Fuel Is Ancient Waste. But, There’s Plenty Of Waste Now!
Can We, Are We Pulling In The Excess CO₂ ?
Fuel From Air? – Capture CO₂
Carbon Dioxide – Who Else Has Ideas To Pull It DOWN And OUT?
We Need To USE THE CO2! …..For Industry – Big Market!

Urban Mining for clean energy
Urban Mining ! – More Important Than Ever
Critical Minerals & Rare Elements! ….. COLOSSAL WASTE RUSH

Other approaches to waste to energy:
Useful Green WASTE Business Ideas That Scale To Any Size
Harvesting Waste Ideas. Waste Rushes? NOW!
Climate Retrofits On Land Or At Sea
Shipping’s Carbon Footprint And Your Small Business >> Your Vote
Industrial Zone – Closed-Loop Networking
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We Need To USE THE CO2! …..For Industry – Big Market!

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