That's the question posed in this Reuters article about landfill gas-to-energy projects and other efforts to turn waste into energy. Environmentalists aren't quite as enthusiastic as the industry about such projects.
In fact, Nathanael Green, director of renewable energy policy for the Natural Resources Defense Council, told the Reuters reporter that promoting the environmental benefits of the projects is like "putting lipstick on a big."
"This is an environmentally preferable option, but it's not renewable in the sense that it's not something we can do forever," Green adds. "Before we go adding incentives for energy production from garbage, we need to first get the incentives right so that we are maximizing the amount of recycling we do."