A proposal to lessen by fifty percent the amount of recyclable materials going into landfills draws a critic who says landfills could hold some answers to Missouri’s energy needs.

It’s been almost two decades since the legislature mandated a 40 percent reduction in solid waste going into landfills by 19-98. A proposal in the state senate would hike that to 60 percent of pre-1998 levels by 2018. The law is designed to keep recyclable materials and yard waste out of landfills.

But solid waste company president Derek Stanley of St. Louis argues the old standards are outdated in this era of new energy technology..He says Missouri is one of only eight states to ban yard waste without regulation on composting.

He argues yard waste in landfills would improve their capabilities to generate methane gas that can be used to generate electricity. Representatives of the composting industry, however, want the ban to stay in place, saying composting has become a multi-million dollar industry because of the original 19-91 law.

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