Automated Landfill Gas Capture Drives Sustainability: A Closer Look at Waste Companies’ Emission Reduction Goals & Strategies

As policymakers and the public increasingly focus on greenhouse gas emissions reduction and sustainability, large waste management companies, including WM, Republic Services, and Waste Connections, are setting clear, quantifiable goals in their latest sustainability reports. Throughout these reports, the companies highlight their use of advanced, automated gas capture systems to reduce fugitive emissions across their landfills and meet stated goals.


According to WM’s 2023 Sustainability Report, their Connected Landfill™ technology integrates automated systems and telematics — to provide real-time data — to optimize landfill operations. By using automated wellheads, remote surface emissions monitoring, and advanced data analytics, WM maximizes gas collection efficiency and minimize emissions.

WM automationSource: WM 2023 Sustainability Report


The company states that through their Connected Landfill™ technology, they are surpassing regulatory requirements for emissions. Rather than relying on manually walking the landfills, teams are “advancing measurement methods [for] more specific data that will enable us to target initiatives to capture landfill gas and reduce emissions.”

To meet the company’s goal to reduce absolute Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions 42% by 2031, WM is focused on:

  • “Reducing landfill emissions with enhanced landfill gas collection and control systems
  • Transitioning most of our collection fleet from diesel fuel to compressed natural gas and increasing the allocation of renewable natural gas
  • Integrating emissions reduction tracking in landfill capital planning processes
  • Continued investment in emissions monitoring and measurement technologies”

As called out in their report, WM uses strategies to reduce their landfill emissions, including:

  • “Expand[ing] existing gas collection and control systems and install new systems
  • Improv[ing] the effectiveness of our gas collection systems by installing automated wellheads, leveraging temporary cap additions and exploring better methods of measuring landfill emissions more accurately”
  • Using captured landfill gas “to generate renewable energy, such as renewable electricity and renewable natural gas, and displace fossil fuel sources”

Republic Services

With the goal to reduce absolute Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions 35% by 2030, Republic Services spent $319M in Sustainability CapEx in 2022. These capital expenditures included “recycling and organics assets, landfill gas collection systems, leachate collection and treatment systems, and sustainable vehicles and infrastructure, based on the EU Taxonomy.”

As the company works toward their emissions reduction goal, it is clear from Figure 1 (below) that the vast majority of greenhouse gas emissions continue to stem from landfills.

Figure 1: Scope 1 and 2 Greenhouse Gas Emissions

RS Sustainability Graph

Source: Republic Services 2022 Sustainability Report (Third-party verified “LRQA Independent Assurance Statement”)


In their 2022 Sustainability Report Climate Transition Road Map, Republic cites the need to scale specific strategies at landfills from 2023 through 2025 to get closer to meeting emissions reduction goals, including:

  • “Leverag[ing] cloud-based data for proactive, real-time gas collection monitoring and action
  • Deploy[ing] emissions monitoring and measurement tech
  • Support[ing] research into evaluating measurement technologies and improving emissions modeling”

And from 2026 through 2029, to focus on “accelerating action” at landfills by:

  • “Incorporat[ing] landfill emissions measurements into modeling for better representation
  • Scal[ing] innovations in landfill gas collection and cover systems to further reduce fugitive emissions”

According to Republic, minimizing and managing emissions from landfills to meet their sustainability goals means using technologies for “direct measurement” — to generate actionable data used to uncover the causes of emissions.

Waste Connections

Waste Connections’ 2023 Sustainability Report highlights the company’s currently installed gas collection systems — installed “often in advance of regulatory requirements.” Collection systems are used at 55 of their solid waste landfills, with 27 of the sites equipped with facilities for beneficial reuse of the captured gas: electric generation or production of Renewable Natural Gas (RNG).

While Waste Connections is in the process of formal approval for their Scope 1 and 2 emissions reduction goal, the company mitigates fugitive emissions from their landfills by:

  • Using drones to detect potential breaches (at most landfills)
  • Installing temporary cover systems to encapsulate gas for beneficial reuse
  • Modernizing and expanding gas collection systems


The publicly stated efforts of WM, Republic Services, and Waste Connections to leverage and expand automated landfill gas capture — while also using real-time, actionable data — reflect a strong commitment to sustainability and climate action.

By using automation and real-time monitoring — including LoCI’s patented data and control system to support landfill teams and reduce emissions — these companies are setting new standards for environmental responsibility and efficiency in landfill operations. The companies’ latest reports reinforce the critical role that technology and innovation play in achieving sustainability goals across their portfolios and minimizing potent greenhouse gas emissions.


Learn more about LoCI’s real-time data and control system, which provides the actionable data and enhanced control over gas collection systems that is key to meeting climate action and the industry’s sustainability goals.


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