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Impact of Waste Reduction & Diversion on Climate Change


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Policy Workshop- The Bigger Sustainability Picture- Impact of Reduction of Consumption & Waste on Climate Change: James Goldstein, Tellus Institute, shares the positive effects on environment, economy and infrastructure if MA commits to 75% waste diversion by 2030.

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Impact of Waste Reduction & Diversion on Climate Change

  1. 1. Impact of Waste Reduction &Diversion on Climate ChangeJames GoldsteinTellus InstituteBoston, MAMassRecycle R3 ConferenceBoxborough , MAApril 1, 2013
  2. 2. MassRecycle R3 Conference 2
  3. 3. 4/1/2013 slide 3MassRecycle R3 ConferenceStudy FrameworkStudy focused on the U.S. and includes:Municipal Solid Waste (MSW)Construction and Demolition Debris (C&D)Did not include other wastes (industrial, agricultural,sludge)
  4. 4. 4/1/2013 slide 4Base Case Scenario vs.Green Economy ScenarioBase Case Scenario (“business as usual”)Recent trends continue: per person waste generationremains stable; population grows; recycling & compostingincrease modestlyGreen Economy Scenario (75% diversion rate)Same assumptions re: waste generation and population;enhanced national recycling & composting programimplementedMassRecycle R3 Conference
  5. 5. 4/1/2013 slide 5Key FindingsAchieving 75% waste diversion in 2030, in tandem withsupportive policies to encourage domestic manufacturing:Creates 2.3 million jobs (1.1 million more than Base Case)Significantly lowers greenhouse gas (GHG) emissionsReduces conventional and toxic pollutants impacting human& ecological healthOther benefits- reduces pressure on non-renewable resources- conserves energy- improves economic resiliencyMassRecycle R3 Conference
  6. 6. 4/1/2013 slide 6U.S. MSW Management 2008MassRecycle R3 ConferenceU.S. MSW Management2008(1000 tons)22,1009%135,19054%31,55013%60,77024%Diversion RecycledDiversion CompostedDisposal LandfillDisposal Incineration
  7. 7. 4/1/2013 slide 7GHG, Other Pollution &Employment Drivers Size of waste stream Composition (material types/characteristics) Management practices: disposal and recycling/ compostinghave different labor intensities & different pollution profilesMassRecycle R3 Conference
  8. 8. 4/1/2013 slide 8MSW Waste Flows2030 Scenario ComparisonMassRecycle R3 Conference
  9. 9. 4/1/2013 slide 9C&D Waste Flows2030 Scenario ComparisonMassRecycle R3 Conference
  10. 10. 4/1/2013 slide 10Job ImpactsBase Case vs. Green Economy ScenarioMassRecycle R3 Conference
  11. 11. 4/1/2013 slide 13Environmental Emissions Impacts Measured life-cycle material and energy inputs anddownstream outputs of wastes and pollution:- Upstream phase – resource extraction, materials refining, andproduct manufacturing- Use phase – product use- End-of-life phase – management of product discardsMassRecycle R3 Conference
  12. 12. 4/1/2013 slide 14GHG ReductionsBase Case vs. Green Economy ScenarioMassRecycle R3 ConferenceGreen Economy Scenario GHG reductions equivalent to closing about 72coal-fired power plants or taking 50 million cars off the road
  13. 13. 4/1/2013 slide 15Total U.S. GHG Emissionsfrom MSWMassRecycle R3 Conference
  14. 14. 4/1/2013 slide 16Policies forGreen Economy ScenarioDiversionPay As You Throw (PAYT) pricingResource Management (RM) ContractingMaterials disposal bans (e.g., C&D)Mandatory recycling/compostingEnhanced container legislationExtended Producer Responsibility legislation(“product stewardship” - e.g., packaging, batteries, electronics)Domestic ManufacturingInvestment tax credits for manuf. equipment using recyclablesGovernment support for infrastructure & market developmentClimate change legislationMassRecycle R3 Conference
  15. 15. 4/1/2013 slide 17National Study ConclusionStrong evidence that an enhanced recycling andcomposting strategy in the U.S. can significantlyand sustainably address critical national prioritiesincluding lasting job creation, climate change, andimproved health.MassRecycle R3 Conference
  16. 16. 4/1/2013 slide 18MassRecycle R3 ConferenceTellus Study for MassDEP’s2010 Master Plan Assessment of Materials Management Options for the Solid WasteMaster Plan Review Summarized existing studies comparing lifecycle environmentaland economic impacts of:- source reduction and materials reuse, recycling, and composting;- alternative technologies such as gasification, pyrolysis, and anaerobicdigestion; and- disposal in municipal waste combustors and landfills. Applied study results to MA data to explore alternative futurevision for materials management in terms of environmental andeconomic benefits.- Incorporated recommendations for how options fit together to form acost-effective materials management system that maximizes resourceand economic values of materials formerly viewed as wastes.
  17. 17. 4/1/2013 slide 19MassRecycle R3 ConferenceLife Cycle Analysis (LCA)
  18. 18. 4/1/2013 slide 21MassRecycle R3 ConferenceEnergy Use: Recycled & VirginContent Products (MJ/kg)050100150200250300RecycledVirgin
  19. 19. 4/1/2013 slide 22MassRecycle R3 ConferenceEnergy Savings:Recycling vs Incineration (MJ/kg)050100150200250300RecyclingIncineration
  20. 20. 4/1/2013 slide 23MassRecycle R3 ConferenceCO2 Emissions: Recycled &VirginContent Products (kg eCO2/kg)02468101214RecycledVirgin
  21. 21. 4/1/2013 slide 25MassRecycle R3 ConferenceCO2 Emissions:Composting vs Disposal (kg eCO2/kg)-12-10-8-6-4-2024YardDebrisFoodScrapsPaperCompostingIncinerationLandfill
  22. 22. 4/1/2013 slide 26Study for MA DEP 2010 Master PlanConclusions re: GHGs From a lifecycle environmental emissions perspective, sourcereduction, recycling and composting are the most advantageousmanagement options for all (recyclable/compostable) materials inthe waste stream. From a lifecycle net energy perspective, waste diversion providesthe most benefit (3-4x incineration, gasification, pyrolysis) After maximizing diversion, appropriate to continue to monitoralternative waste management technologies. Preference among alternative technology options based onenvironmental performance is dependent on the relativeimportance placed on CO2 emissions versus other pollutants.- Modern landfills with efficient gas capture systems reduce more CO2than other alternatives.- Landfills are worse than alternative technologies for most otherpollutants.MassRecycle R3 Conference
  23. 23. 4/1/2013 slide 27Questions?MassRecycle R3 Conference