Climate Change and the Resource Recovery and Waste Sectors
The Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts commissioned a study in September 2009 on issues related to Climate Change and the Resource Recovery and Waste Sectors.
About the report
The report analyses the extent to which landfill waste greenhouse gas emissions fall within and outside the scope of the proposed Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme. It finds that the exclusion of greenhouse gas emissions from small landfills and emissions from legacy wastes leaves a significant quantity of emissions outside the scope of the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme during the lifetime of the National Waste Policy (2009 to 2020).
Some of the key findings are:
- Organic material sent to landfill is likely to increase from 10 million tonnes (Mt) in 2008 to 14 Mt in 2050
- Current estimated net emissions of greenhouse gas from landfill are approximately 11.5 Mt CO2e (2008 year)
- Under the proposed CPRS, emissions from organic material disposed of to landfill will grow until 2015, falling to just under 10 Mt CO2e in 2030
- A combination of measures to divert organic waste and promote the uptake of effective landfill gas capture systems, supported by a price on carbon and a renewable energy target, would be needed to deliver a projected reduction in net emissions from landfill of 10 Mt CO2e, and
- In 2012 the CPRS would cover only 15 per cent of landfill emissions, rising to about 66 per cent in 2030.
This report informed the development of the National Waste Policy: Less Waste, More Resources and the National Waste Report 2010. Its findings will be a key input to the implementation of the National Waste Policy, especially the strategies relating to organic waste and landfill (strategies 7, 9 and 10).
The report forms part of a suite of research reports used to inform the National Waste Policy - Less waste, more resources.