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Biogas: producing renewable energy from landfill


Landfill waste produces significant amounts of methane, a greenhouse gas with a warming potential 28 times that of CO2. To limit the impact of this gas on climate change, policy makers and waste management operators encourage both a significant reduction in the volume of waste going to landfill and better recovery of the methane produced.

Landfills produce large amounts of biogas.

This biogas, the result of the digestion of organic waste in the absence of oxygen (anaerobic), is made up of methane (65-70%) and CO2. It is a source of renewable energy that can be captured and recovered in the form of electricity, heat for district heating networks or as biofuel. Capturing biogas from landfill sites requires an efficient collection and pre-treatment system. It usually consists of a network for collecting and recovering methane and a power generation unit made up of gas turbine generators of various capacities depending on the size of the site.

Who are our customers ?

Cities, local authorities, and inter-municipal structures


The Veolia Solution


The Group's services cover several operational phases:

→ The design phase includes the configuration of the landfill site and the facilities for capturing and transporting the methane produced by the fermentation of organic waste
→ The construction phase includes land drainage, the construction of storage cells for non-hazardous organic waste and the installation of the biogas capture network
→ The operational phase covers the treatment of the leachate (residual liquids generated by the percolation of water through the stored waste), as well as collecting and treating the biogas itself
→ Finally, the post-operational phase includes the continuation and completion of the previous phase, to which is added landscaping works aiming at restoring the original appearance of the site.

 Veolia produces 1.2 million MWh of electricity from over 14 million metric tons of landfill waste annually.

Benefits for our customers

Reducing the environmental footprint

Diversifying the energy mix

Sustainable alternative to landfill

Focus Innovation

Le Plessis-Gassot - the first town in France to be heated by biogas

The Plessis-Gassot non-hazardous waste landfill site in France captures biogas and then uses it in a cogeneration plant. The plant produces 130,000 MWh of electricity annually - the equivalent of the consumption of over 40,000 households - and 30,000 MWh of thermal energy - the equivalent of the consumption of nearly 3,000 households. The heating bills for users connected to the system have consequently been reduced by more than 90 %.

They chose this solution



Shanghai’s household waste - a source of green energy

In partnership with the city of Shanghai, Veolia has installed a collection and pretreatment system at the Laogang landfill site to capture and recover the 60 million m3 of biogas generated annually. The facility is supported by a power generation unit that produces approximately 100,000 MWh of green energy per year -equivalent to the energy consumption of 100,000 households.



When an old coal mine generates green energy

The former Ipswich coal mine in Australia’s Queensland has become a landfill and green energy production centre. With a current electricity production capacity of 3.3 MW (equivalent to the needs of 2,500 households), rising to 10 MW by 2025, the site makes a significant contribution to reducing the region’s carbon footprint. It should make it possible to avoid the emission of 3 million tons of GHG over the next ten years.



Construction of a third WAGABOX® in partnership with Waga Energy

The Claye-Souilly non-hazardous landfill has been equipped with a unit for converting biogas from the fermentation of landfilled waste into biomethane. As from 2022 and for fifteen years, this green and local energy will supply 20,000 households in the Paris region and contribute to the fight against global warming by avoiding the emission of 25,000 tonnes of CO₂ per year. The project is the third of its kind, jointly developed by Veolia and Waga Energy, following the construction of a first WAGABOX® in Saint-Palais (Cher) and a second in Le Ham (Manche).