In a new study of current levels and future trends of global methane emissions from municipal solid waste, Clean Air Task Force has put annual methane emissions at around 10 million metric tonnes, significantly lower than the commonly reported value of 35 million metric tonnes found by other sources that rely on the methodologies of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 2007.
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The study looks at the primary means of solid waste disposal, including landfills, composting, thermal processing (including incineration for energy production), anaerobic digestion (primarily sewage sludge from livestock operations with minimal methane recovery), integrated waste recycling and recovery, and aerobic composting of organic content. In addition, trends in the growth of each of these techniques, with consequent methane emissions, are projected out to the year 2030.