Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

Compost IS natural decomposition, my dude.

True, but it's an aerobic decomposition that produces CO2. Landfills tend to create anaerobic environments, where decomposition produces methane. Both are greenhouse gases, yes, but methane is the more potent of the two.

A composting operation could potentially capture its gasses though, compared to landfills.

There are landfills that capture methane too. Some even turn it into onsite power source (in which case it’s re-emitted as co2 but oh well)

It's still good news, since methane is a more potent greenhouse gas - depending upon the timeframe and calculation method it's generally reckoned to have between 30 and 100 times the warming potential of C02 [1]. Moreover a power station then has a CO2-rich exhaust stream, which is probably the best place for industrial carbon capture.

[1] https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-bad-of-a-gree...

Sunnyvale does this! The "Sunnyvale Materials Recovery and Transfer Station" (SMaRT Station) is out by the bay, and there is a waste water treatment plant right next door. Methane is captured from "capped" landfills and is used to power the treatment plant. I believe the plant is nearly 100% powered by these captured gases.

Doesn't smell great over there, but it sure is interesting and pretty smart!

sure, but at least the compost doesn’t go to waste :)

Only in the same sense that farming is "natural" - we're using biological processes that would never happen without our careful construction and maintenance of the circumstances.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact