May 5, 2008
Natural Gas from Trash!
I guess we are sending some of Sacramento's energy resources to Nevada. The sustainable solution would be to use that energy here. But combustion is probably not the best approach. The "organic waste" decomposing at landfills is probably a combination of food waste, pet poop, paper, and plastic.
The fact that landfills generate CO2 as well as methane means that we can reduce greenhouse gases by throwing less stuff away. This is easier than capturing the landfill gas, separating and sequestering the CO2, and liquefying the methane. And it's a lot cheaper, because you save twice - once by not paying for the stuff you used to throw away, and again by not paying for all the landfill gas infrastructure.
Of course, you do still have to process biological wastes the old-fashioned way. But processing plastic is the real challenge.
Will Waste Management Inc. be able to reduce tipping fees by using recycled natural gas in their trucks? No, they just won't have to increase them as soon.