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Tell us how you’re reducing methane emissions


Using Manure as a Resource
Manure and other organic materials can be converted into biogas through anaerobic digestion. Learn More »

There are common interests and similarities across the areas of agriculture, municipal solid waste, and municipal wastewater.

The Biogas Subcommittee focuses on building capacity within Partner Countries to leverage the common interests across these areas, including biogas energy use, the types of wastes managed, waste treatment technologies, and the potential for synergistic projects involving input streams from multiple sources. Efforts include developing and promoting tools, policy guidance, and project development resources at the national, state, and city level within Partner Countries.


The primary sources of methane emissions from agriculture are livestock enteric fermentation, livestock waste management, rice cultivation, and agricultural waste burning. Of these, livestock waste management offers the most viable, near-term opportunities for methane recovery and utilization. Learn more from the Agriculture technical group page.

Municipal Solid Waste

Municipal solid waste (MSW) management and treatment activities are sources of methane (CH4) emissions worldwide. Learn more from the MSW technical group page.


Methane is produced when the organic material in municipal wastewater decomposes anaerobically. Varying amounts of methane are emitted during the collection, handling, and treatment of wastewater depending on methods employed. A number of techniques can be employed to reduce or recover and use wastewater methane that can yield substantial energy, economic, environmental, air quality, and public health benefits. Learn more from the Wastewater technical group page.

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Tools & Resources

Biogas Fact Sheet: Reducing Emissions, Advancing Recovery and Use

The Biogas sector presents a new fact sheet, available here. (PDF, 4pp, 1.1MB)

From Farm to Table to Energy: Co-digesting China’s Urban Food Waste in Wastewater Treatment Plants (2018, PDF, 40pp, 0.8MB)

Prepared by the Wilson’s Center China Environment Forum with assistance provided by GMI, the report highlights food waste trends in Chinese cities and assesses the possibilities of redirecting food waste to municipal wastewater (MWW) and sludge-to-energy (StE) plants. This report also highlights some specific gaps that GMI and other organizations could help fill and potential Chinese partners to engage with to highlight the environmental and economic benefits of co-digestion.

Naucalpan, Mexico Waste Characterization Study (2018, Video)

In March 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency – as a lead partner in the Waste Initiative – conducted a waste characterization study at the municipality’s transfer station. The study indicated that approximately 69% of the waste handled at the transfer station could be recycled or otherwise diverted from the landfill, and that more than half of the waste could be used as feedstock in composting or anaerobic digestion projects. The municipality is using the results of the study to inform decision making about the project design and procurement options.

Scaling Sludge Mountains: Breaking Down Barriers for Chinese Cities to Turn Sludge Waste into Energy (2018, PDF, 44pp, 1.9MB)

The Wilson Center’s China Environment Forum (CEF) produced this sludge scoping report for the U.S. EPA and the Global Methane Initiative. The report describes drivers that created mountains of municipal sludge, introduces key political and research entities involved in sludge regulation in China, reviews obstacles in adoption of anaerobic digestion, provides a case study of the challenges facing sludge-to-energy projects, and highlights opportunities for U.S. government, cities, and companies to engage with Chinese government agencies.

OrganEcs Exiting Global Methane Initiative

OrganECS coverOrganEcs aims to help local decision makers in their first evaluation of different treatment options (e.g., composting options and/or anaerobic digestion options). OrganEcs helps users determine the economic feasibility of waste management scenarios by calculating tipping fees, sales of products (e.g., organic compost), and the internal rate of return. OrganEcs use requires expert support.

SWEET Exiting Global Methane Initiative

SWEET coverSWEET is a free Excel tool created by the Waste Initiative. SWEET helps users scope emissions sources such as waste collection and transportation, open burning, landfill gas collection systems, organic waste management projects, waste handling equipment (e.g., bulldozers), and waste incineration facilities. It estimates waste sector emissions including methane, black carbon, and several other pollutants. It also evaluates emissions reduction benefits of multiple alternative waste management scenarios.

Biogas Wastewater Assessment Technology Tool (BioWATT)

Originally developed by the World Bank and enhanced by GMI, the Biogas Wastewater Assessment Technology Tool (BioWATT) (XLS, 1.8 MB) provides a quick and preliminary assessment of wastewater-to-energy projects.

Based on simple inputs provided by the user, BioWATT provides the following:

  • Biogas production estimate for various wastewater-to-energy technologies
  • Electricity generation potential from the produced biogas
  • Greenhouse gas savings associated with biogas-generated electricity
  • Preliminary assessment of the wastewater treatment facility’s electricity demand that can be met through biogas-generated electricity
  • Preliminary design parameters of major components of a wastewater-to-energy project, such as required digester volume, required gas holder volume, and total combined heat and power (CHP) electric power output
  • Impact on a wastewater treatment facility’s operating expenses (OPEX) by investing in energy generation technology



Using Manure as a Resource
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Methane Mitigation Matters: Biogas
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