Turning trash into biofuel might not be as 'green' as you think

Getting rid of the world's trash is becoming more important than ever. We're running out of room to store it, and garbage is a significant source of the methane and carbon dioxide that drive climate change.

Some experts suggest converting that waste to energy might be an eco-friendly solution. Scientists and experts say processing garbage into biofuel could reduce global carbon emissions by 80 percent and could reduce the volume of trash by about 87 percent.

Countries like Sweden and Norway swear by the process. In 2015, Sweden converted nearly 2.3 million metric tons of household waste into biofuel. And both countries claim to have nearly run out of waste and now import garbage from other countries to meet their energy demands.

SEE MORE: Our Oceans Are Littered With Trash — Here's How We Could Fix It

RELATED: Keep these foods out of the garbage disposal

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Keep these foods out of the garbage disposal
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Keep these foods out of the garbage disposal

Oil

After frying up a great dinner, your first impulse may be to pour the used oil down the sink. According to plumbing experts interviewed by Daily Mail, you may be contributing to a fatberg! Oil can re-solidify once it hits your pipes, creating a thick coating and causing water to drain more slowly.

If oil gets down to the sewer level, it congeals into a solid mass, called a fatberg.

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Starch

Starchy foods, like rice, pasta and potato peels, turn into a gooey mess inside your disposal. 

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Eggshells

Eggshells do not break down easily, and over time can create a blockage.

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Coffee Grounds

As if we need an excuse to go to Starbucks, the grounds from your daily caffeine fix is another substance that is known to block up sinks.

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Some Veggies

Celery and asparagus, or any food with a stringy, fibrous texture, is very difficult for the disposal to break down.

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Seeds and Nuts

Seeds and nuts are too hard to be ground up by your sink’s disposal unit.

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But waste-to-energy is still controversial. Some worry the convenience of turning trash into energy might deter recycling efforts and slow progress toward a goal of zero waste. Others point out waste-to-energy facilities still emit harmful greenhouse gases like CO2 into the atmosphere. 

Dozens of cities in the U.S.Canada and China have blocked waste-to-energy efforts, expressing concerns about pollution and public health.

But waste-to-energy creates less pollution than landfills and other energy resources like coal and could still help reduce the amount of garbage in our landfills.

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