Concerns about the overflowing landfill sites of the country escalated new heights as a recent report released by the United States Environmental Protection Agency established that these dump zones are weighty contributors of climate change. As the study states, landfill sites are significant reservoirs of methane gas, a greenhouse gas “whose comparative impact on climate change is 25 times greater than CO2 over a 100-year period.”
Inefficient waste management is synonymous to India. The country accounts for 18% percent of the total population of the entire planet with a population increase rate of 31.8% during the last decade, yet it lacks adequate resources and systems to manage the waste beget by its 1.29 billion population. Latest government report [CPCB] suggested that the 34 states of the nation together engenders 1,43,449 tonnes of garbage per day per day. What’s more alarming is that only 32,871 tonnes per day (TPD) of it is treated.
Methane is the second most common gas emitted by anthropogenic actions after carbon dioxide and with the rapid rise of population has become a serious threat to the environment. As the report suggests, as the waste decomposes it releases enormous amounts of methane gas that contributes significantly towards global warming at a prolonged duration. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimated that although the nation employs state-of-the-art methane gas collection technology in its landfills, these municipal waste hills are the third-leading cause of methane emissions in the U.S, with nearly a fifth of methane emissions coming from landfills.
Environmental experts in India argue that if landfill sites in the U.S can cause such serious methane emission concerns then the quantum of threats that the overflowing landfills of India pose is beyond alarming.