Landfill gas is produced by the decomposition of garbage buried in landfills. The gas consists of an approximate mix of 50 percent methane, the major component of natural gas, with the balance coming from carbon dioxide and traces of other unstable components.
Landfill gas can pose a threat to surrounding properties and the environment if not controlled. Fires - and even explosions- can occur when these compounds build up underground and enter a confined space. The gas, when untapped and unmanaged, can also release emissions into the atmosphere. As part of the NJSEA's efforts to control these emissions, landfill gas recovery has been successfully implemented in the Meadowlands District on more than 550 acres of landfills. Under the methane recovery process, landfill gas is extracted under a vacuum from wells located at the various landfills and piped to processing plants.