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What is biodegradable waste?

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Quick Answer

Biodegradable waste is any waste that can decomposed in a reasonable amount of time. Common biodegradable wastes are food and kitchen waste, manure, sewage, agricultural and forestry waste, and textiles.

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Microorganisms and other natural processes break down biodegradable waste. It decomposes efficiently when exposed to moisture and oxygen. Most household and restaurant waste is collected and either deposited in landfills or subjected to a composting process for soil amendment. When biodegradable waste is thrown into a landfill, it decomposes slowly and is turned into methane gas. The gas is then captured by landfills and used by gas-to-energy facilities to generate electricity or to provide an alternative to natural gas.

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