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Methane & Landfill Problem In India – Free PDF Download

Question

  • While, India is continuously working towards reducing the emission of CO2, the large landfills in India generate huge amounts of Methane (CH4) which could derail our climate goals. In light of the above statement, discuss the problems of legacy land dumps in India and steps needed to reduce Methane emissions from landfills.

The Observation

The News

  • According to European Space Agency satellite observations, More clouds of the powerful greenhouse gas methane which has 84 times the warming power of carbon dioxide over its first 20 years in the atmosphere were spotted in India than any other country except for the US during the first half of 2022.

The News

Why Methane is important?

Is methane released only from India?

  • Of course no..!! Also note, India is not the largest emitter of Methane. (US, China are leaders there too..!!
  • The source of emissions in South Asia is different than in the US or Russia. In Russia, USA, the lion’s share of methane releases observed by satellite Sentinel-5P is linked to leaks from oil, gas and coal operations.
  • While in India & South Asia, methane emissions measured largely come from landfills.

What does this mean?

  • Waste sites generate methane when organic material like food scraps or cardboard breaks down in the absence of oxygen.
  • Failing to curb releases of Methane from the waste sector, which is responsible for about 20% of all methane generated from human activity, could derail global climate goals.
  • According to GHGSat data, the Ghazipur dump on the outskirts of New Delhi, spewed roughly 2.17 metric tons of methane an hour on March 22.

Problem South Asia..!!

  • The Ghazipur dump is around 15 stories high. It would be equivalent to Motera stadium Ahmedabad in size.
  • It not just Ghazipur, but many landfills in India and south Asia that leak huge quantities of methane.
  • Another site is Matuail Sanitary Landfill in Dhaka which is quite huge & contributes to large methane clouds over South Asia.

What can be done?

  • Waste sites generate methane when organic material like food scraps or cardboard breaks down in the absence of oxygen.
  • In India, more than 60% of waste is composed of organics that often originate from markets where vegetables, meat and poultry and other food is sold.
    • The simplest solution would be waste segregation at source..!!
    • Next step would be, mitigating impact from landfills through aerating piles of trash and gas capture systems.
  • The biggest question would be is landfill the only solution?

What can be done?

  • Other Ideas
    1. Recycling
    2. Waste to Energy Incineration plants
    3. Composting
    4. Anaerobic Digestion
    5. Advanced Technologies

Should India join?

 

 

 

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