The waste and recycling industry contributes close to 3% of Australia’s direct emissions. However, recycling abates much more by capturing the embodied energy of the recovered materials.
We can create a more sustainable Australia by reducing emissions, increasing recycling and growing new green jobs.
Organics to landfill make up more than half of all waste to landfill in Australia. They are also responsible for a fair amount of the waste sector's GHG emissions.
How can we create environmental benefits and stimulate the economic growth sorely needed post COVID-19?
If global food waste was a country, it would be the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world, behind the U.S. and China
One thing we can do to combat climate change as individuals, households, local councils, state governments and federal governments is address food waste to landfill.
So, what are our options?
Projections show Australia is very unlikely to meet its current 2030 carbon reduction targets, with recent reports of increasing greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from all sectors other than the electricity and agriculture industries.
Australia needs to do more and the waste and recycling sector can lead the charge in emissions reduction.
Following up on his earlier Circular Economy article, Mike Ritchie reviews the European Union Circular Economy Action Plan report of 54 actions and adjusts those actions to propose an equivalent action list for Australia.
A circular economy is necessary to minimise landfill, increase resources recovery and protect our natural environment. A strong local reprocessing sector will also generate new jobs, support the economy and safeguard Australia from international developments such as China's National Sword. Mike Ritchie outlines the key drivers for a strong Circular Economy in Australia.
The news on our climate is not good as the recently released CSIRO and BOM report confirm the continued warming of Australia’s climate and oceans: “Observations and climate modelling paint a consistent picture of ongoing, long‑term climate change interacting with underlying natural variability.”
At a recent meeting with Local Government Mayors and CEO’s, a claim was made that transporting organics by truck to a distant compost facility (in this case 150km away) would emit more greenhouse gases than landfilling it locally. Thinking that the carbon forcing factor of methane from landfill (25 times CO2) would render that claim incorrect, I thought I should go back and check the maths.