Student Independent Projects Sustainable Resource Management 2015: Methane Emissions through the Anaerobic Digestion of Organic Waste: Possible Courses of Action in Newfoundland and Labrador

Jones, Crystal Lee (2015) Student Independent Projects Sustainable Resource Management 2015: Methane Emissions through the Anaerobic Digestion of Organic Waste: Possible Courses of Action in Newfoundland and Labrador. Research Report. Grenfell Campus, Memorial University of Newfoundland. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Approximately 60 percent of global methane emissions are triggered by anthropogenic sources, in which a little above 20 percent can be traced back to waste emissions (Environment Canada, 2014). Compared to the average of 610 kilograms of waste in a study of 17 countries, Canada is considered to be the largest producer of municipal solid waste per capita globally with over 1000 kilograms of waste per year. Overall, Canada produces 35 million tonnes of waste a year in which 27 million tonnes is disposed into landfills (Hird et al., 2014). Methane is the chief compound released through municipal solid waste through the anaerobic digestion of organic materials found in waste. Methane is considered to be more hazardous than carbon dioxide with an increased residence time in air as it captures and absorbs 25 times more infrared radiation than carbon dioxide (Govindan & Agamuthu, 2014). Methane is one of the foremost forces behind climate change, therefore it is imperative that it is appropriately managed to ensure the high quality of basic living needs such as clean air and water are met. If the amount of methane and other greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere from landfills are diminished, then it can serve as an excellent mitigation effort for climate change (Environment Canada, 2013). There are numerous different reasons as to why landfills are hazardous to the environment. An assessment from Mukherjee et al. (2014) debates the diverse consequences that an increased quantity of methane and other leachates can have on the local environment. These negative consequences that often occur as a result of old and badly engineered landfills include: toxicity, carcinogenic effects, and genotoxicity in humans. Also, as previously stated, methane is the most potent greenhouse gas therefore has the ability to rapidly increase global warming in the near future.

Item Type: Report (Research Report)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/11818
Item ID: 11818
Department(s): Grenfell Campus > Division of Social Science > Sustainable Resource Management
Date: 2015
Date Type: Submission

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