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[GreenYes] Norway wants to ban food from landfills
In an article today in the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten, it says that the
government wants to ban food waste from landfills as a method to reduce
methane emissions and the related global greenhouse impacts.

Methane is a powerful global greenhouse gas, with 21 times the impact of
carbon dioxide when measured over a 100 year period. Landfills are a large
source of methane (in the US, they are the largest man-made source,
according to the EPA).

Due to the rapid decomposition of food in landfills, some researchers
believe that most of the methane generated from food escapes to the
atmosphere, even in sites with a gas extraction system. In a typical
landfill, the gas extraction system is not designed to capture the gas from
the upper layers of the site, which is where the rapidly decomposing food
begins to break down.

An earlier Norwegian study showed the most of the environmental impact of
modern day landfills is from the escape of methane to the atmosphere. They
estimate that even in a landfill with a gas extraction system, 50% of the
methane still escapes to the atmosphere.

Here in the US, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has
recommended to EPA that food residuals be banned from landfills.

John Reindl, Recycling Manager
Dane County, Wisconsin

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