Trash to Gas: Landfills Aren’t the End of the World

By Robert Grigg

While the ever-increasing number and size of landfills are certainly problems that shouldn’t be perpetuated, your trash isn’t necessarily just a useless environmental hazard. Due to the nature of how things decompose, landfill gas (LFG) is emitted from these large trash piles. Composed of 50% methane and 50% CO2, landfills can provide a source of “natural” gas.

Using a combination of wells and pipe systems, people can harvest these gasses for use as an alternative fuel. Doing this can help offset some of the costs of using other fuels, and is already being used in a number of fields such as the auto industry, food processing, water treatment, and even institutions such as prisons and hospitals.

The concept of harvesting natural gas from landfills is already relatively popular, so while you should cut back on your waste disposal, your trash might possibly be harvested as gas in a sense. For more information on landfill gas and its uses, visit The EPA’s website, or check out this cool illustration below found on Advanced