When food waste is sent to the landfill, bacteria slowly breaks down the organic matter through a natural process called anaerobic digestion. Methane gas is released as a byproduct, which acts as a greenhouse gas that is 84 times more potent than carbon dioxide.
According to CalRecycle, organic waste from food scraps, lawn trimmings, cardboard, biosolids, etc. makes up 50% of all material sent to the landfill, and contributes to 20% of state methane emissions each year in California. By diverting organics from the landfill, methane gas emissions could be substantially reduced.