Napa Waste Disposal - August 2008
Question and Answer
QUESTION:   I recently heard that as garbage breaks down it gives off methane – a very concentrated greenhouse gas. Is this true? If so, what do landfills do to address this problem?

ANSWER: It’s true, methane and carbon dioxide (CO2) are both emitted from rotting garbage. At landfills, the scraps from that fabulous dinner you almost finished, together with tons of other organic wastes, slowly decompose. As this matter breaks down, it generates methane and CO2 (along with a small percentage of other nasty gases). And as you pointed out methane is a particularly dangerous greenhouse gas – 21x more potent than CO2.

Learn More
  • Can I recycle this? Find out what can be recycled, what can be composted, and what to do with old electronics, batteries, paint, and other forms of hazardous waste.
  • The Story of Stuff: “A 20-minute, fast-paced, fact-filled look at the underside of our production and consumption patterns.”
  • Well, most stores are already selling reusable bags, but Reusable Bags has a wide array of options for both bottles and bags.

*This represents waste collected by licensed haulers (namely North Bay Corporation) and self haul waste brought to Sonoma County transfer stations. Does not include self haul and debris containers taken to landfills outside of Sonoma County.