Transforming Waste Management Operations to Green Energy Initiatives: Opportunities and Challenges


  • Jy Shing Wu University of North Carolina at Charlotte
  • H. K. Tseng
  • J. C. Ferrell
  • X. Liu


Emerging challenges for the landfill enterprises include the increasing difficulty in siting and permitting landfills, rising energy costs, and impending reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. A roadmap is presented to overcome these challenges as well as transform landfill operations to green energy initiatives. A feasibility study including financial analysis was performed for electric energy production from the captured landfill gas, solar-electric energy from closed landfill cells, and bioenergy from buffer and idle lands bordering the landfilling areas. While the landfill- and solar-electric energy options are economically viable, the bioenergy option requires due consideration of production capacity and tax credit and incentives. Returns on investment can provide sustainable solid-waste tipping fees, offset funding required for post-closure expenses, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions without direct land-use change. Energy policies for carbon credits and tax incentives are critical elements to sustain the financing of green energy projects for the waste management industry.

Keywords: landfill operation, renewable energy, greenhouse gas, environmental economics

JEL Classifications: P18, Q53, Q59


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Author Biography

Jy Shing Wu, University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering Full Professor




How to Cite

Wu, J. S., Tseng, H. K., Ferrell, J. C., & Liu, X. (2017). Transforming Waste Management Operations to Green Energy Initiatives: Opportunities and Challenges. International Journal of Energy Economics and Policy, 7(3), 50–57. Retrieved from