Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Waste

Waste was responsible for 1.5% of Ireland's greenhouse gas emissions in 2019

 

Back to top

Highlights

 

  • Greenhouse gas provisional estimates for waste emissions decreased by 0.8% in 2019.
  • Decreases reported in the last 3 years
  • In 2019, emissions are 43% below 1990 levels
Foodwaste ad campaign
  • Long-term decreases are a result of decreased quantities of municipal solid wastes (MSW) disposed of at landfills and a decrease in the proportion of organic materials (food and garden waste) in MSW as well as a diversion of paper products from landfills.
  • Emissions projected to decrease  under With Existing measures scenario.

  Back to Greenhouse Gas Home

 


Waste

The waste sector includes emission estimates from solid waste disposal, composting, waste incineration (excluding waste to energy), open burning of waste and wastewater treatment and discharge. The largest of these sources is solid waste disposal on land (landfills) where CH4 is the gas concerned. 

Emissions from the Waste sector decreased by 0.8% in 2019, with decreases in sub category Landfills of 2.3%. Overall emissions decreased by 0.01 Mt CO2eq compared to 2018 emissions. Long-term decreases are a result of decreased quantities of municipal solid wastes (MSW) disposed of at landfills and a decrease in the proportion of organic materials (food and garden waste) in MSW as well as a diversion of paper products from landfills. Improved management of landfill facilities, including increased recovery of landfill gas utilised for electricity generation and flaring is also a big driver in decreased emissions from the waste sector.

Latest projection figures (July 2020) show waste sector emissions decreasing by 27.4% between 2021 and 2030 to 0.59 Mt CO2eq under the With Existing Measures scenario.

*The Projections for 2020 -2030 in this graph pre-date the methodological changes made to the 1990-2019 Inventory. Care should therefore be taken in comparing historic and future emissions levels.

Back to Greenhouse Gas home

Waste emissions and projections (WEM) 1990-2030*

Back to top

Sensitivity

The line graph below also shows a sensitivity assessment performed on the With Existing Measures scenario which is based on a scenario where an additional 350,000 tonnes per year requires landfill management. This has the impact of increasing emissions by approximately 1.2 Mt CO2eq over the 2021-2030 projected period.

Projections from the Waste Sector under the With Existing Measures (WEM) scenario out to 2030, including a sensitivity assessment for the WEM scenario based on an increase in municipal solid waste going to landfill

Back to top