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The problem of landfill gas (LFG) hit the headlines in 1986 when a house in Loscoe exploded. Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Pollution (HMIP) have reports of over 100 incidents involving LFG in England and Wales. DoE’s recent evidence to the Commons Environment Committee estimated that there are some 1400 landfill sites in England and Wales which might be emitting enough gas to carry a risk of fire or explosion. Clearly LFG is a national problem. On a more positive note, the gas has potential to become a significant energy source. Most of the waste generated in the UK is landfilled, and the gas produced each year could amount to 5% of the annual production of British Gas.

This POSTnote addresses the processes underlying the generation of landfill gas and describes some of the options available for its control and use.

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