Reports, Case Studies & Assessments

Financing Landfill Gas Projects in Developing Countries


The world’s landfills and dump sites contain a significant amount of biodegradable waste, including food scraps and agricultural refuse. When these organic materials break down in landfills, various gases known collectively as landfill gas (LFG) are produced and either buildup within a landfill or discharge into the atmosphere. Because of its chemical make-up, LFG is flammable, odorous, and a potent source of greenhouse gases (GHG). LFG management systems that collect and either burn (flare) or convert these gases into energy can help mitigate these problems and contribute to the overall safe operation of a landfill. As an additional benefit, the energy or carbon reductions that are produced by LFG systems can—in some cases—be sold to generate revenue. However, finding the resources to finance these systems can be a challenge, particularly in low-resource settings. This report is applicable if the initial technical and financial feasibility assessments conclude that the LFG project can meet stakeholders’ environmental and/or financial goals. This detailed assessment describes—as accurately as possible—project-specific financial elements over the lifetime of the system. This report offers an overview of the range of financial resources that may go into a financial assessment of an LFG system.

This report, as well as a complementary report entitled “Sustainable Financing and Policy Models for Municipal Composting” has been prepared in a collaboration with the Climate and Clean Air
Coalition to Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (CCAC). The CCAC is a global partnership of governments and organizations that works to reduce short-term climate pollutants in a number
of sectors, including solid waste. The CCAC and the World Bank generously provided financing for the work conducted.

Information in the report is based on both primary sources, including practitioner interviews and public records, and secondary source material, including a number of guidance reports written in
the last decade on LFG systems, which are cited throughout.