Emissions of several greenhouse gases (GHGs) contribute to global climate change. The disposal and treatment of waste produces many of these GHGs. The most significant GHG gas produced from waste is methane. Methane is released during the breakdown of organic matter in landfillsas well as matter while breaking down of wastes in compost pits. Other forms of waste disposal also produce GHGs but these are mainly in the form of carbon dioxide (a less powerful GHG).Waste prevention and recycling help address global climate change by decreasing the amount of greenhouse gas emissions and saving energy (Environmental Protection Agency).
The life cycle of a product directly and indirectly contributes to the emission of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and affects the global climate. For example, the manufacture of a product releases greenhouse gases both directly or indirectly.
Directly, from the manufacturing process; and indirectly, from the energy produced while running the manufacturing plant, the carbon dioxide released from gasoline-powered vehicles, and the release of methane gas during the decomposition of the product when it is discarded in a landfill.
The disposal of materials suggests that the product is being replaced by new products. This production often requires the use of fossil fuels to obtain raw materials and manufacture the items.
Thus, The prevention and recycling of waste reduces greenhouse gases associated with these activities by reducing methane emissions, saving energy, and increasing forest carbon sequestration.