During the last decade more and more focus has been on environmental issues linked to the problem of global warming. Emissions of environmental dangerous substances from present energy sources such as oil, coal and gas together with increased prices on these types of fuel has stimulated the search for renewable energy sources.
Further an increased wealth leads to increased volumes of household waste, which creates negative environmental effects if placed in landfills. It can also be established that population growth, increased consumption and the industrial development leads to a growing need for energy. Hence a preferred solution shall include both diminished emissions as well as satisfying the energy need based on renewable energy sources. For centuries, the accepted solution to waste management was to bury waste or dump it at sea. Today, we know that neither are environmentally responsible solutions. The seas are saturated with human disposals and (assuming sites are available) landfills generate methane and other greenhouse gases; all contributing to the core environmental issue.
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC.ch), landfill emissions contribute to 18% of the total methane emissions to the atmosphere, ranging from 9 to 70 megatons annually.
Several political incentives such as carbon credits, gate-fees and banning of landfills are influencing the global arena for energy generation and disposal of waste.