Greenhouse Gas Impacts of Biowaste Management - WR0210
Early analysis of waste-related climate change impacts focused on landfill, with less attention given to conventional alternative disposal routes. The benefits of mainstream alternatives, recycling commodity materials, such as paper, and energy recovery from combustion, through offsetting energy and materials from fossil fuel and virgin sources, are now recognised. A separate Defra-funded research project (WR0602) examines policy-related opportunities for the full range of waste streams.
The Landfill Directive requires the diversion of biodegradable municipal wastes, in the UK predominantly those produced by households, from landfill. As a consequence, the future management of these waste streams will change substantially. There is the potential increasingly to divert other biowastes from landfill in order to avert the potential release of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, to achieve the environmental benefits that also accrue, to avoid the rising costs of landfill and the Landfill Tax, and to capture economies of scale from the co-management of waste streams. In due course there may be an obligation to divert non-municipal biowastes from landfill.
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