2009 International Solid Waste Association White Paper on Waste and Climate Change

nAs waste management practices have evolved and awareness of the scarcity of natural resources has grown, there has been a paradigm shift from waste management to a resource management philosophy. Through material and energy recovery, waste is increasingly considered to be a resource that can be exploited. These activities have a substantial potential for GHG emissions abatement. This White Paper addresses issues which are vital to the success of GHG mitigation through better waste management. Technology, material recovery, organic recovery, energy recovery, the clean development mechanism, policy and regulation, and GHG accounting methodologies are each considered. Issues such as human health, environmental protection other than GHG emissions, and cost are not examined here; the point is that benefits related to these subjects are maintained even when waste management systems are focused on effective GHG reduction strategies. The key to successful development is the design of waste management systems adapted to local needs and traditions, rather than the selection and transfer of a single process or technology from one country or region to another.