Have you ever wondered what happens to all of the garbage you throw away every week? Once the waste leaves your sidewalk, it is no longer your problem. If only things were that simple. Our leftover food and yard waste has effects that are longer lasting than the stinky garbage bins suggest.
When food and yard waste is disposed of in landfills, it doesn’t just decompose and go back into the earth. Anaerobic bacteria break down the material and release methane gas as a byproduct. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change and the degradation of the ozone layer.
This summer, Waste and Recycling Services mined a Nose Creek landfill from the 1920s and one from the 1970’s where they discovered waste that was virtually unchanged from the date it was tossed, including still-green grass cuttings and perfectly readable newspapers.
Photos of waste from the 1920s landfill mined in 2012
Photos of waste from the 1970s landfill mined in 2012
Composting, a simple and effective way for us to divert food waste from methane producing landfills, will be available via city-wide organics pick-up by 2017. Our trash is our problem, even if it is not sitting in our driveway.
This content represents the personal views and opinions of the Ward Councillor and should not be taken as a statement of policy of The City of Calgary. The inclusion of any external content does not imply endorsement by The City of Calgary.