Landfill methane, overall waste sector emissions continued to decline in 2022


Dive Brief:

  • Landfills recorded their third consecutive year of declining methane emissions, reaching 119.8 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2022, according to the latest update to the U.S. EPA’s annual Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks. Landfills remained the third largest source of methane, behind enteric fermentation from livestock and natural gas systems.
  • Waste sector emissions have also declined steadily since 2019, dropping to 166.9 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2022. That total represents 2.6% of all of the country’s emissions for the year.
  • The waste category excludes emissions from municipal solid waste combustion facilities. Those facilities recorded 12.4 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions, down slightly from the prior year and down 4.2% from 1990 levels. The practice also produced 0.3 million metric tons of nitrous oxide, which the EPA reported has fallen 18% since 1990 due to declining volumes of MSW combusted.