Waste problem in Russia indeed is of vital importance today – more than 60 million tons of solid waste is formed every year. Being one of the sources of greenhouse gases emissions, solid waste produces methane which is 21 times more dangerous than carbon dioxide for the Earth`s climate. The level of GHG emissions reached 84 million tons of CO2-equivalent in 2012 and continues to grow. About 5 million tons of solid waste formed in Moscow is then landfilled in Moscow region.
It goes without saying that the negative impact of such landfills is terrifying for health and environment: air, soil, surface and ground waters are being polluted. However there is no state regulation on collection, neutralization and utilization of landfill gas that could help solve waste and climate change issues.
At the same time, we should keep in mind that landfills can become a renewable source of energy. «Timokhovo» landfill in Moscow region is one of the examples of shifting to eco-friendly renewable energy due to the new methane capture technology.
The modernization of «Timokhovo» landfill was realized in three steps. First of all, a special safety shield made of topsoil was created. Then the system for leachate collection and treatment was introduced. It helped to clear 438 thousand m³ in 2009-2015. (Leachate is a liquid polluted by organic and non-organic materials concentrated in landfills)
In 2014 the landfill gas collection and neutralization system was implemented. The new system comprises a compressor installation with a 1500 m³/hour capacity and a landfill flare with a 5 Megawatt capacity. These measures neutralized the odors and poisonous emissions.
Today 24000 m³ of landfill gas is neutralized daily and 8 760 000 m³ annually. 140 million m³of landfill gas will be neutralized by 2030. Later, due to all the steps of modernization, landfill gas will be transformed into energy. This will make «Timokhovo» landfill a renewable energy generation cluster.
«Timokhovo» has passed a successful way from a traditional solid waste landfill to the modern and eco-friendly landfill which meets all the international ecological standards. Climate change policy development, emissions regulation system, GHG emissions reduction projects in waste sector and landfills modernization – all these measures could solve the waste problem and save the planet from the ecological crisis.