Where does waste fit?
The city’s new Solid Waste Master Plan must be built in a way to reduce as much as possible Green House Gases from waste generation, collection, recycling, and green bin collection and processing. On April 24, 2019 the city declared a climate emergency and directed city staff to identify new concrete actions to achieve GHG emissions reduction targets:
Approved April 24, 2019
Officially declare a climate emergency for the purposes of naming, framing, and deepening our commitment to protecting our economy, our eco systems, and our community from climate change”
Waste represents approximately 8% of the total GHG emissions from all community sources and approximately 9% of the emissions from city operations. Although waste is a relatively small contributor to the city’s GHG footprint it is the third largest tonnage after buildings and transportation.
Diagram sources: Ottawa Solid Waste Master Plan, Potential Impacts and Greenhouse Gas Analysis, Stakeholder Sounding Board, May 13, 2022
When organic waste ends up in the city’s residual waste collection system, it generates methane in the landfill. This is a significant contributor to GHGs. Even though the city does have a methane and landfill gas collection system at the Trail Road landfill site not all of the gas is recovered.
GHG emission reductions and minimization goals must be built into the Solid Waste Master Plan and all waste management decisions going forward.