Natural Gas From Waste
I usually associate natural gas with hydraulic fracturing (bad!!!). However, natural gas (mostly methane) can also be obtained from our waste – it is released as our garbage decomposes.
There are many advantages to using this “off-gassing” as fuel. First, methane is a very powerful greenhouse gas. So by not letting it escape into the atmosphere, we are reducing our carbon emissions. Even if it is burned, the CO2 produced has less impact on climate change than the methane itself. Methane also burns much cleaner than the diesel it replaces, which means less atmospheric pollution. And, even if one day we figure out how to not have landfills, methane can also be captured from compost sites making natural gas a renewable resources.
Take a look at the interview below of Carson’s (California) mayor. The city is celebrating the production of it’s 1000th natural gas powered garbage truck. A garbage truck that runs on garbage – how ironic!