Protecting the Future

Greenhouse Gas

Gases that trap heat in the atmosphere are called greenhouse gases. The EPA has identified four gases that they believe contribute the most to climate change. Of the four gases, three exist naturally in the atmosphere, and in proper balance are essential to maintaining the balance of our planet.  Fluorinated Gas such as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) are man-made.

The Changing Environment

“In the last 60 years, carbon dioxide levels have increased at a rate 100 times faster than previous natural increases, such as those that occurred at the end of the last ice age 11,000-17,000 years ago.”  Based on EPICA (European Project for Ice Coring in Antarctica) Ice core data indicate that the CO2  level for the past 800,000 years has been below 300 ppm, however, in 2017 CO2 levels reached 405.0 parts per million.  Scientists believe the last time “the atmospheric CO2 amounts were this high was more than 3 million years ago, when temperature was 2°- 3°C (3.6°– 5.4°F) higher than during the pre-industrial era, and sea level was 15–25 meters (50–80 feet) higher than today”.  Source climate.gov

Studies show that MSW facilities are the third largest producers of methane (CH4) gas, a greenhouse gas that is 86 times more damaging than carbon dioxide during the first 20 years of methane’s life cycle.  Nitrous oxide( N2O), a greenhouse gas that is 300 times more potent than carbon dioxide over its 114-year life cycle is primarily a result of agriculture.  Agricultural soil management is the largest source of N2O emissions in the United States, accounting for about 73.9 percent of total U.S. N2O emissions in 2017.  With the increase in chemical fertilization from 8 million tonnes in 1961 to 23 million tonnes in 2018, chemical fertilization is considered the main contributor to the 15% increase in N2O over the aforementioned time period.

Methane

Environmental Solutions 

Rocco SSC’s ASTEW service system focus on two of the four primary greenhouse gases Methane (CH4) and Nitrous oxide (N2O).  

Methane (CH4) Methane is generated in landfills as waste decomposes.  Landfills are the third-largest source of CH4 emissions in the United States.  Currently, determining an accurate annual emission level from MSW landfill facilities has been complicated by deregulation implemented under new EPA review guidelines.  The evidence produced from a Yale study supports that America’s landfills receive almost double the 122 metric ton estimate the EPA used to calculate potential release.  Nonetheless, scientists agree that reducing methane emissions can bring great societal benefits via decreased near-term warming and improved air quality; capturing this benefit is best achieved by focusing our energy on what goes into landfills thus reducing what comes out.

Nitrous oxide

Environmental Solutions continued

Nitrous oxide (N2O) is naturally present in the atmosphere as part of the Earth’s nitrogen cycle, with the atmospheric levels remaining constant for over 800,000 years between 230-273 ppb.  Nitrous oxide is the most potent GHG and is 300 times more effective in absorbing radiation than CO2. Add to this a life cycle of 114 years, with the destructive power of chlorofluorocarbons on the ozone layer, and the significance in disrupting the Earth’s natural nitrogen cycle becomes less confusing and more unsettling. 

 Nitrous oxide runoff: This process of eutrophication is responsible for over 400 hypoxic zones “dead zones” worldwide.

Eliminating one metric ton of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) from entering the atmosphere is the equivalent of removing 113 gallons of gas from being consumed or 21% of a single passenger car’s annual usage.

Eliminating one metric ton of Methane (CH4) from entering the atmosphere is the equivalent of removing 9,718 gallons of gas from being consumed or the equivalent 18 passenger cars’ annual usage.

Environmental

A Different View

Solutions 

Targeted Small Changes

Eliminating one metric ton of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) from entering the atmosphere is the equivalent of removing 113 gallons of gas from being consumed or 21% of a single passenger car’s annual usage.

Eliminating one metric ton of Nitrous oxide (N2O) from entering the atmosphere is the equivalent of removing 33,900 gallons of gas from being consumed or 63 passenger cars’ annual usage.

Testimonials

Methane only survives in the atmosphere for about 12 years.  However, Methane is more than 86 times more effective in absorbing radiation (trapping heat) than CO2.  Making matters worse, Methane impacts the ocean’s thermal expansion for centuries.  For every metric ton of organic material that enters a MSW landfill, one metric ton of Methane will enter the atmosphere through decomposition.

By 1920 nitrous oxide atmospheric levels exceeded 280 ppb shattering 800,000 years of history. Since that time nitrous oxide atmospheric levels have continued to climb, as of December 2017, nitrous oxide levels exceeded 331 ppb.  Globally, about 40% of nitrous oxide emissions are human-caused, with agriculture being the primary source for human-caused nitrous oxide. Agriculture creates 4.5 million tonnes of nitrous oxide per year.

According to the EPA, the average American disposes of 4.4 to 4.7 pounds of nonhazardous solid waste every day.  The average American office worker disposes of 2.2 to 2.5 pounds of nonhazardous solid waste every day while at work.  

For every 1,000 office workers over one ton of trash is disposed of daily.  According to this EPA study, 60 to 80 percent of the trash generated daily in an office is paper and paperboard based.

ASTEW

A mainstream Idea who’s time has come 

Find Out More

 

Rocco@roccossc.com

(888) 867-6226