Advice for managing landfill gas at closed and historic sites - Full ACUMEN project report at bottom of page.


The ACUMEN project looks at novel ways to manage methane gas at closed landfills.

It’s a partnership between the Environment Agency, Norfolk County Council, Ground Gas Solutions Ltd, Biogas Technology Ltd, the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change, the UK Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs and Warsaw University of Technology.

It was supported by the EU Life+ programme, who provided match funding, making the total budget close to €3m over 3 years (2012-2015).

The project was completed on 28th August 2015, and the links below provide the main reports and outputs, including innovative tools to assist in closed landfill methane management. 

Why closed landfills

The UK and Europe has a large closed landfill legacy. There are approximately 20,000 closed landfill sites in the UK [Categories of landfill for methane emissions; Jacobs 2010] and many more within the EU.  Additionally, there are in excess of 6,000 (as of 2012) operational landfills in the EU, many of which will close during the coming decade.

Drivers for the project

The main drivers were the economic and technical uncertainties hampering wider take up of new technologies to manage methane emissions from closed and historic landfill sites. 

Our aim was to explore these uncertainties through a number field scale demonstrations of methodologies, technologies and techniques for assessing, mitigating and utilising the methane at closed landfill sites.

Our project report presents the findings from our ACUMEN project. We have tried to present this in a way that we hope will allow others to benefit from what the project team learned during the course of the work.

Legislative context

The EU Landfill Directive (1999/31/EC) provides regulatory direction to member states in operating permitted landfills, with gas control in particular, a key area requiring stringent operating conditions to minimise emissions and the risks to human health and the environment. However, many closed landfills are not subject to this regulatory direction, even though gas is being produced and emitted. These sites in particular will benefit from ACUMEN’s findings.

ACUMEN Project report and tools

In addition to the ACUMEN Project Report, three spreadsheet based tools have been developed. These tools have been designed to assist decision makers in screening their portfolio of landfill sites to select landfill gas management interventions; estimate methane generation; and, analysing the costs and benefits of deploying the type of technologies demonstrated under ACUMEN. The tools are introduced and made available in the links below.

Cost Benefit Analysis Tool

This is a spreadsheet-based CBA tool designed to help estimate the financial and social costs and benefits of applying the different gas management technologies demonstrated under the project.

Gas Estimation Tool

This is a simple, Excel-based landfill gas estimation tool. The tool doesn’t actually carry out any modelling itself, but rather uses limited data inputs to look up landfill gas generation estimates modelled elsewhere.

Portfolio Screening Tool

The ACUMEN Portfolio Screening Tool (PST) has been developed to enable owners of multiple closed landfills to quickly screen and prioritise their sites based on their potential to support a power generation scheme.