Viridor pioneers new approach to methane measurement using drones

Viridor is demonstrating its ambition to tackle climate change by supporting the development of new technologies for measuring and reporting methane emissions across its UK landfill sites. Using the latest UAV laser sensor technology, Viridor will gain timely and insightful information to enable the business to meet the industry specific challenges identified by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) in respect of landfill.

Viridor has recently published the report: Decarbonising Our Waste: Viridor’s Roadmap to Net Zero and Net Negative Emissions. This details the company’s commitment to reach net zero by 2040 and net negative by 2045.

The company has established a project team to plan a series of methane measurement surveys across several UK sites. These surveys will take place from the summer of 2021 and will utilise an innovative UAV-based methane measurement system.

With significant investment from the University of Manchester, their project members will work closely with Viridor’s UAV partner, High Compliance, to master the flight characteristics required for effective methane emissions surveys. It is hoped that this approach to measuring methane releases will not only support continuing innovation across Viridor sites, but it will also become an invaluable methodology for meeting the company’s own commitments and the requirements of the Paris Agreement (2015) as applied by the Environment Agency and government departments, such as DEFRA and BEIS.

Viridor’s Director of Sustainability Tim Rotheray said the project would provide invaluable information and help drive Viridor’s decarbonisation commitments.

Tim said: “Viridor has a history of investing in new technologies designed to improve our environmental performance. This project will improve our ability to identity and solve any local methane emissions as soon as they occur. Methane is a product of the waste we receive and outside of our control. We strive to drive this down through better monitoring and this project is a major boost. Viridor supports a ban on methane-producing waste to landfill to drive down climate change causing greenhouse gasses from waste.”

The project is an industry partnership with Viridor’s technology and service partners including High Compliance, SPH Engineering, FT Technologies, Pergam-Suisse, and JB Unmanned Aerial Systems (JBUAS).

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