Science

Food waste in US landfills produces emissions equal to 12 million cars

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A landfill in the US

Landfills in the US release large amounts of methane

Huguette Roe/Shutterstock

Wasted food rotting in landfills is a large and growing source of planet-warming methane emissions in the US, according to a report that quantifies these emissions for the first time. Cutting food waste is the best way to reduce these emissions.

Landfills make up about 15 per cent of US methane emissions, the third largest source after fossil fuel production and livestock burps. This landfill methane is produced by decaying organic matter, such as paper and food. More than one-third of all …

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