Clean Power from the Garbage Dump?

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The rotting garbage in our landfills produces methane, a greenhouse gas that is 21 times worse than carbon dioxide. But on the bright side, that methane gas can be utilized to generate clean energy. The world’s annual dumping of 1.6 billion tons of trash is a sustainable source of power!

Reuters reports, “If that gas is collected and burned to generate electricity, proponents say the resulting emissions of carbon dioxide are less harmful to the environment than the original methane.”

“In the United States, trash haulers like Waste Management and Allied Waste Industries Inc are rapidly expanding the number of gas-to-energy projects at their landfills.” Europe has been utilizing “biogas” successfully for quite some time and even here in the U.S., the technology existed in the 1970’s. Federal tax incentives and state mandates in 2005, and of course environmental awareness, have revived interest in biogas. Start-up companies are also joining the mix with innovative technologies to turn landfill gas into fuel for vehicles.

I agree with environmentalists who say we should do more to reduce and recycle our waste, but garbage will always be an issue due to the overpopulation of this planet, so why not put the trash to good use?

Tag(s): Energy, Going Green, The Great Green Outdoors

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