2007 IPCC Waste Management

 

aPost-consumer waste is a small contributor to global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (<5%) with total emissions of approximately 1300 MtCO2-eq in 2005. The largest source is landfill methane (CH4), followed by wastewater CH4 and nitrous oxide (N2O); in addition, minor emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) result from the incineration of waste containing fossil carbon (C) (plastics; synthetic textiles) (high evidence, high agreement). There are large uncertainties with respect to direct emissions, indirect emissions and mitigation potentials for the waste sector. These uncertainties could be reduced by consistent national definitions, coordinated local and international data collection, standardized data analysis and field validation of models (medium evidence, high agreement). With respect to annual emissions of fluorinated gases from post-consumer waste, there are no existing national inventory methods for the waste sector, so these emissions are not currently quantified. If quantified in the future, recent data indicating anaerobic biodegradation of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) in landfill settings should be considered (low evidence, high agreement).