Diversion & Recycling
Communities are pursuing waste reduction and diversion
strategies to reduce landfill dependence and lower their GHGs.
A common approach separates organic wastes (kitchen scraps and other
compatible wastes) and sends these for composting. This requires homeowners to separate
their wastes, adding extra trucking, bin and haulage complexity.
Although a valid approach, using an IRM approach is usually both
cheaper and environmentally superior.
A community of just over 100,000 implemented a kitchen scraps
program, requiring homeowners to separate and sort the organic waste
into specific bins.
New garbage bins and trucks had to be purchased to handle the
separated wastes and the scraps were trucked to a local
composter. The operator had to reject a sizeable portion (due to bad
sorting) and due to odour issues and a lack of market for the compost
the operation closed. The scraps
then had to
be trucked out of the region, raising costs and GHGs.
The total annual cost equates to $407 per tonne and 63% landfill diversion.
We assessed an IRM approach able to achieve up to 97% diversion at $110/tonne
- the current landfill tipping fee cost. GHG reductions were
15% of the entire community's
emissions. The IRM approach was approved by several technical reviews
and the community is now investigating this.