Waste Management

What’s happening now

Waste emissions come mainly from landfills, with some additional emissions coming from wastewater treatment. Most emissions from landfill comes from organic materials like food and green waste.

Councils in the region are evaluating approaches to reduce waste and the resulting emissions from landfill.

Carbon Emissions from Waste

The total annual waste emissions (total = 33,000 tCO₂e, 21/22) for the South Coast region. Hover over the donut to see the amount of emissions from landfill vs. wastewater. Source: snapshotclimate.com.au

Sector action impact

The largest impact on waste emissions in the region will come from better management of Food Organics and Garden Organics (FOGO). When these materials are buried in landfill they are a significant source of Methane gas, which has a much greater impact on global heating than carbon. While FOGOs have often been treated as “waste” particularly in urban areas, they can be a rich source of compost and nutrients for our food systems.

Local action to better manage waste could reduce emissions by around 40% above baseline estimates by 2050.

Projected Impacts for Business as Usual vs Action for Waste Management

Emissions projections for waste for the South Coast region. The red line indicates the projected emissions if the waste sector were to continue Business as Usual. The green line shows the potential reduction in emissions if all waste-related actions on this website are implemented. Source: South Coast Alliance Regional Net Zero Plan – Ironbark Sustainability 2022

Opportunities for Action

There are many opportunities to reduce emissions in the Waste sector. The best way to manage waste is to reduce it. Purchasing fewer products and reusing and recyling materials within a circular economy can support effective waste management.

We need to start thinking about rubbish as a resource and using new technologies to convert our waste into valuable resources, such as turning food and garden organics into compost and powering homes across the region. To help with this, Greenskills Inc have produced a series of Free Zero Waste Resources for Educators & Families.

Delve into the individual actions within this sector for more information.

Projected Impacts from Actions for Waste Management

The estimated impact on carbon emissions from waste actions for the South Coast region. Hover your cursor over the bars to see how different waste actions can reduce emissions each year. Source: South Coast Alliance Regional Net Zero Plan – Ironbark Sustainability 2022