When organic matter decomposes in deoxygenated environments in municipal landfills, it produces methane, a greenhouse gas 26 times more potent than carbon dioxide. 

BOSTON—Landfills threaten our planet in various ways. Municipal waste occupies dwindling landfill space, leeches toxicants into the environment, and actively contributes to global warming by releasing methane, a greenhouse gas over 26 times more potent than carbon dioxide, through anaerobic decomposition. In fact, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that municipal waste landfills collectively release methane with a greenhouse gas impact equal to 25,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually. 

To address the problems posed by landfills, environmental groups and environmentalists are making progress toward zero-waste solutions. Thanks to their work with elected officials, local and state environmental protection departments, and community members, real change is happening. To minimize the waste reaching incinerators and landfills, communities across the country have pushed for legislation to establish recycling programs, require paper bags to replace plastic bags, and create curbside compost collection programs. 

NELC works closely with other groups and individuals to monitor landfill activities and hold waste disposal corporations accountable when they break environmental laws. We are honored to be a part of the movements to reduce waste and prevent it from harming the environment and public health.