As garbage decomposes in landfills, the potent greenhouse gas methane (CH4) is generated. According to the EPA, landfills are the third largest contributor to man-made greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. As a greenhouse gas (GHG), methane has 21 times the heat trapping effect of carbon dioxide. Reducing waste that goes into landfills by recycling, composting, and being a wise consumer, is the best defense against creating more methane emissions. In addition, emission controls that capture landfill methane are an effective option.
Learn more about the greenhouse gas impacts of waste through the EPA.