Why are we changing to compostible trash?

Once trash is buried below 40 or 50 CM how does it compost? Would it not give off Methane gas? Seems plastic would be the best product to bury.
I would also think that a composting tree would release as much Co2 as would be released during burning.



  1. 0 Votes

    Trash is composted underground by worms and through natual breakdown of organic matter.  I found a website that gives instructions on composting underground.  They recommend digging a hole (or trench) about a foot and a half deep, filling in with 6 inches of compost scraps, and pile a foot of dirt on top.  Then you can simply let it sit for a season and presto, you have a plantable patch of fertile ground.

    Most plastic won’t biodegrade, and therefore burying it will not really get rid of it, just remove it from eyesight.  Additionally, there is some concern for plastics with BPA leaching this chemical from the plastics into our water supply, so burying is not the best method for disposing of these plastics.

    Lastly, a tree will probablly give off as much C02 with burning and decomposing, but if it is composted it will provide food for other organisms during the process, and leave behind nutrient rich soi.  The release of CO2 will also be slower. 

    • 0 Votes

      This is were I am having the problem. Most landfills must bury with more than 20″ of soil along with the trash on top starving the biodegradable material of oxygen. This results in gas release environmentally worse than Co2.
      Composting if done correctly, as in a back yard compost bin works great. Burial is bad. Take some grass clippings (mostly water) and put it in a sealed bag (no air) check the results in a couple of days. Don’t breath the fumes.

    • 0 Votes

      I agree with you, I would prefer to see trash un-buried and rotated to afford compostable items the possibility to do so. However, there can be benefits from burying trash as well. Burying the trash and drilling holes (required of large landfills by the EPA) to capture the gasses (about 60% methane and 40% CO2) helps reduce methane emissions and after processing can be mixed with natural gas or to make electricity.

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