Each day more than 12 million pounds of garbage is dumped, spread, compacted and finally covered with a layer of dirt at the Klickitat County landfill owned by Republic Services. It sits on a plateau above the Columbia River in southern Washington. Credit: Steve Ringman / The Seattle Times ROOSEVELT, Washington—Two trains each day pull into this tiny hamlet tucked deep within the Columbia River Gorge. They carry more than 12 million pounds of garbage that is transferred to a fleet of trucks, which crawl up a cliff-side road full of hairpin turns to the top of an arid plateau. There, an armada of excavators, bulldozers and compactors spread, crush and bury this trash. Now, this giant landfill is the source of pipeline-quality natural gas—enough for some 19,000 homes to operate furnaces, stoves and water heaters each day. This is the same stuff produced elsewhere in North America by fracking. But here it is generated from the decay—deep underground—of food scraps, dog poop, yard clippings, paper and other organic materials mixed in with the trash. We deliver climate news to your inbox like nobody else. Every day or once a week, our original stories and digest of the web’s […]


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