Landfill and global warming. What’s the link?

8 November 2017

Waste may be contributing more to climate change than scientists previously believed. In 2012, Americans dumped twice as much trash into landfills than formerly estimated or reported, which has led to greater emissions than expected.

Waste in landfill releases methane gas, and this is the greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change. In fact, methane is 23 times more effective at trapping heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide, which is the most prevalent greenhouse gas.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that landfills are the third highest contributor of methane emissions in the U.S, with nearly a fifth of all methane emissions coming from these landfills. While landfills employ methane gas collection technology, researchers say that these methods need to be improved at open landfill sites.


“Today we’re dumping 70 million tons of global warming pollution into the environment, and tomorrow we will dump more, and there is no effective worldwide response. Until we start sharply reducing global-warming pollution, I will feel that I have failed.” Al Gore.


New initiatives needed


Proper management of waste disposal and effective recycling is needed to decrease the amount of greenhouse gas emissions, as well as to save energy. New rules have been introduced in the U.S. to reduce methane emissions, but this course of action focuses on the oil and gas industry, and doesn’t tackle key contributors of methane emissions such as landfills and agriculture.

As urbanisation moves people into cities, waste increases, making the need to deal with the problem of pollution from landfills even more pressing. The United Nations predicts that cities around the globe could see their populations rise by 2.5 billion by 2050.


“As that urbanisation occurs, you have more materiality, more consumption, and that begets residuals of waste materials.” Jon T. Powell, Yale University Researcher.


So, what’s needed is a commitment to waste prevention, reuse, and recycling and composting, because these strategies reduce more pollution, save more energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions more than any other action.


Reduce environmentally damaging e-waste through secure computer recycling.


Responsible computer recycling is vital, if you want to play your part in reducing potentially health and environmentally-harming e-waste, as well as keeping your data secure. So if your company is one that is committed to the ethical recycling of its obsolete computers and technology products, make sure secure and environmentally friendly computer recycling that adheres to proper recycling regulations is part of your consideration. It’s also important to be aware that companies are now legally obliged to safely dispose of potentially sensitive information in accordance with current security laws and the Data Protection Act of 1998. Be sure only to use a computer recycling company that operates in accordance with, and preferably exceeds all government guidelines such as the WEEE Directive and the Data Protection Act.

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