Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Composting RIP

Am I crazy? Maybe, but is composting dead?

First it was recycling. Prices for recycled materials are so low that haulers are losing money, sorting centers are stockpiling stuff like cardboard and plastic, waiting for prices to go back up. We're all on a cycle here, right? Things will get better, won't they? 

Now comes composting. Huffington Post has some holiday suggestions: Don't throw away that food waste, compost it. Because, they say, if you don't, your old food will decompose in a landfill and create methane gas.

Is that so bad? Yes, methane is a potent greenhouse gas, a lot worse than its more famous counterpart, carbon dioxide. 

But there's technology out there, being used at landfills in Michigan and elsewhere, that can harness that methane and turn it into electricity. 

Are there emissions from landfill gas to electricity systems? Yes, but they're cleaner than Old King Coal. So throw away your food waste (as long as your landfill harnesses methane. Mine does). As for throwing away your recyclables, let's see how long the cycle lasts. 

- Green Mullet. 

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