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Viridor pioneers new approach to methane measurement using UAV

Viridor Ltd, a leading recycling and energy recovery company is demonstrating its ambition to tackle climate change by supporting the development of new technologies for measuring and reporting methane emissions across its UK landfill sites. Using the latest Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) laser sensor technology (aka drones), Viridor will gain information to enable the business to meet the industry-specific challenges identified by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) in respect of landfills.

Viridor has established a project team with its technology and service partners including High Compliance, SPH Engineering, FT Technologies, Pergam-Suisse, and JB Unmanned Aerial Systems (JBUAS) to plan a series of methane measurement surveys across several of its UK landfill sites. These surveys will take place from the summer of 2021 and will utilize an innovative UAV-based methane measurement system (photo courtesy JBUAS).

Viridor has recently published a report “Decarbonising Our Waste: Viridor’s Roadmap to Net Zero and Net Negative Emissions“, detailing the company’s commitment to reach net-zero by 2040 and net negative by 2045.

The company Viridor has established a project team to plan a series of methane measurement surveys across several UK sites. These surveys will take place from the summer of 2021 and will utilize an innovative UAV-based methane measurement system.

The project is an industry partnership with Viridor’s technology and service partners including High Compliance, SPH Engineering, FT Technologies, Pergam-Suisse, and JB Unmanned Aerial Systems (JBUAS).

The latter is the UK agent for UgCS Integrated Systems and develops and commercializes drone-based sensor solutions such as gas detectors, ground penetrating radars (GPR), magnetometers, and sonar systems.

With significant investment from the University of Manchester, their project members will work closely with Viridor’s UAV partner, High Compliance, to master the flight characteristics required for effective methane emissions surveys.

It is hoped that this approach to measuring methane releases will not only support continuing innovation across Viridor sites, but it will also become an invaluable methodology for meeting the company’s own commitments and the requirements of the Paris Agreement (2015) as applied by the Environment Agency and government departments, such as Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

Viridor’s Director of Sustainability Tim Rotheray said the project would provide invaluable information and help drive Viridor’s decarbonization commitments.

Viridor has a history of investing in new technologies designed to improve our environmental performance. This project will improve our ability to identify and solve any local methane emissions as soon as they occur. Methane is a product of the waste we receive and is outside of our control. We strive to drive this down through better monitoring and this project is a major boost. Viridor supports a ban on methane-producing waste to landfill to drive down climate change-causing greenhouse gasses from waste, said Tim Rotheray.

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