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[GreenYes] Fwd: [GAIA]USA - NSWMA issues report on greenhouse gas reduction in solid waste operations



>NSWMA issues report on greenhouse gas reduction in solid waste operations
>
> > The US National Solid Wastes Management Association (NSWMA) has
> issued a new
> > white paper addressing the efforts of the solid waste industry to reduce
> > greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
> >
> > According to the report, solid waste services such as collection, recycling
> > and landfill operations account for only 0.1 percent of the total GHG
> > emissions from all sources. The solid waste industry is
> continuing to reduce
> > GHG in its operations through collection and control of landfill
> gas, energy
> > production from municipal solid waste and the construction of bioreactor
> > landfills.
> >
> > Actual, net GHG emissions from all municipal waste management activities
> > declined from about 60.5 MMTCO2E in 1970 to 7.8 MMTCO2E in 2003.
> This happened
> > even as waste disposed grew from about 121 million tons per year in 1970 to
> > 236 million tons per year in 2003. If the solid waste industry
> had not changed
> > or improved the technologies it was using in 1970, net emissions would have
> > been about 124.5 MMTCO2E in 2003. Use of modern solid waste management
> > practices therefore "avoided" 116.7 MMTCO2E.
> >
> > This colourful 12 page brochure is clearly an example of the US
> waste sector
> > blowing its own trumpet, but that does not detract from the
> importance of the
> > subject or the interesting nature of the content.
> >
> > There has been a significant reduction in GHG emissions, along with other
> > environment impacts of municipal solid waste (MSW) management, even as the
> > amount of MSW managed has grown nearly two-fold between 1970 and
> 2003. These
> > extraordinary emission reductions resulted from:
> >
> >
> > * Increased collection and control of landfill gas. Landfill gas (LFG)
> > collection and control and energy recovery of landfill methane
> (CH4) reduces
> > emissions to the atmosphere
> > * Increased recycling and composting rates. Recycling results in greatly
> > reduced energy costs compared to manufacturing with virgin materials, while
> > composting avoids emissions by diverting material that would otherwise be
> > disposed of in landfills
> > * Increased combustion of MSW and waste biomass to produce energy. Burning
> > waste and recovering energy avoids emissions from combustion of
> fossil fuel to
> > produce the equivalent amount of electricity.
> >
> > Not content to rest on its laurels, the industry is actively pursuing other
> > ways to reduce GHG emissions, including:
> >
> >
> > * Bioreactor landfills
> > * Waste collection and transportation initiatives
> > * Life-cycle analyses of the cost and environmental impacts of solid waste
> > management options
> > * Other GHG reduction methods, including co-firing biomass, and
> using compost
> > as landfill cover
> > * GHG emission reduction credit trading
> > Details
> >
> > Landfills
> >
> > Greatest Decrease in Emissions in Last 30 Years
> >
> > Landfills are a large source of methane emissions in the U.S. However, GHG
> > emissions from all MSW landfills in 2003 were about four-tenths
> of one percent
> > (0.4%) of total GHG emissions from all sources in 2003. Actual GHG net
> > emissions from landfill disposal operations in 2003(28.2 MMTCO2E) is 54
> > percent lower than emissions in 1970 from landfill operations
> (61.3 MMTCO2E).
> > Modern landfill practices used in 2003 avoided
> > the release of 85.9 MMTCO2E compared with what would have been
> emitted if 1970
> > practices were still being used.
> >
> > Methane reductions came from collecting LFG and either destroying
> it in flares
> > or using it to produce energy in landfill gas-to-energy (LFGE)
> projects. LFGE
> > projects produce additional carbon reductions by avoiding fossil fuel
> > emissions from conventional energy producers. Reductions also resulted from
> > leachate recirculation, being performed at approximately 20 percent of the
> > landfills with gas collection. Leachate recirculation results in more
> > efficient LFG collection and better LFG flow rates.
> >
> > GHG emissions avoided in 2003 by the 360 projects in the US that
> use landfill
> > gas for energy is equivalent to:
> >
> > * planting 18 million acres of forest
> > * not using 140 million barrels of oil
> > * off-setting the use of 295,000 railcars of coal
> >
> > Waste-to-Energy (WTE)
> >
> > Replaces fossil fuel energy and removes waste from landfills
> >
> > WTE avoids emissions by displacing fossil fuel power sources. In
> 1970, waste
> > combustion was accomplished through incineration, without energy
> recovery, and
> > emitting about 2.5 MMTCO2E. By 2003, WTE's net emissions were -7.1 MMTCO2E,
> > because replacing fossil fuel-created energy sources (oil, gas, coal) with
> > solid waste as an energy source significantly reduces net emissions.
> >
> > WTE also offsets landfill methane emissions by diverting waste
> from landfills.
> > WTE facilities emit small amounts of CO2. Only about one quarter of one
> > percent of all CO2 emissions from energy and industry came from
> combustion of
> > waste.
> >
> > Recycling and Composting
> >
> > Avoiding emissions by reusing waste
> >
> > The net emissions from recycling and composting is a negative
> number because
> > of the offset of lower energy requirements in using recycled vs. virgin raw
> > materials, and the added benefit from diversion of waste from
> landfills that
> > would produce CH4 and other GHGs. Considering these offsets, the
> net emissions
> > decreased from -4.4 MMTCO2E in 1970 to -16.2 MMTCO2E in 2003.
> >
> > Recycling and composting avoids about 8 MMTCO2E of GHGs annually if we
> > consider what emissions would have been had the industry
> continued with 1970
> > practices. To determine GHG emissions, recycling calculations include
> > emissions from materials collection, separation, treatment
> (composting), and
> > transportation to a remanufacturing facility.
> >
> > Producing products from recycled materials rather than raw
> material can save
> > anywhere from 40 to 95 per cent in energy use, as follows:
> >
> > * Newspaper 40%
> > * Glass 40%
> > * Steel 60%
> > * Plastics 70%
> > * Aluminium 95%
> >
> > Waste Collection and Transportation
> >
> > Future Initiatives Expected to Improve Vehicle Emissions
> >
> > Actual GHG and other emissions from collection and transportation of waste
> > have increased from 1.2 to 2.9 MMTCO2E in the past 30 years. The
> increase is
> > attributable to increases in the amount of MSW generated and to longer
> > distances traveled for garbage collection because of urban sprawl.
> >
> > Transportation emissions are a good target for future reductions. Although
> > actual GHG emission numbers from collection and transportation
> operations are
> > small, they are estimated at about one-third of the net GHG
> emissions for the
> > entire solid waste industry.
> >
> > Life-Cycle Analyses of Solid Waste Management Options
> >
> > Research has been done to help communities conduct "life-cycle" analyses of
> > MSW options and develop computer models that simulate real life choices and
> > tradeoffs. Communities can use the models to select waste
> management options
> > based on cost, energy consumption, and emissions, including GHG
> emissions. For
> > example, the Cities of Seattle and Spokane, Washington have used
> the Municipal
> > Solid Waste Decision Support Tool (MSW-DST) to evaluate different
> food waste
> > management options. While considering collecting food waste for composting,
> > they evaluated whether net environmental benefit would be greater than
> > emission increases and costs from food waste collection programmes.
> >
> > Another example is Anderson County, South Carolina, which used
> the MSW-DST to
> > evaluate the cost and environmental implications of a residential curbside
> > recycling programme and establishment of a yard waste composting programme.
> >
> > Copies of the report Municipal solid waste industry reduces
> greenhouse gases
> > through technical innovation and operational improvements (3.2MB) are
> > available from NSWMA's website at:
> >
> > http://www.nswma.org/GHG_WastePaper.pdf
> >
>
>
>------ End of Forwarded Message
>
>--
>
>--
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>--
>
>
>_______________________________________________
>Gaia-members mailing list
>Gaia-members@no.address
>http://lists.essential.org/mailman/listinfo/gaia-members

Gary Liss
916-652-7850
Fax: 916-652-0485
www.garyliss.com

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